March - 2009
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Despite the receipt of comprehensive semi-annual dental care, many high-risk children continue to develop new caries lesions
Assessment of five year caries increment data in 429 high-risk 6-to-10-year-old children (at least two decayed posterior occlusal surfaces at the outset) participating in the New England Children's Amalgam Trial. As part of the clinical trial, the children received restorations of baseline caries, sealants on sound surfaces, and free comprehensive semi-annual dental care.
One in two children had at least one new caries lesion by the first annual visit while 9 in 10 children had experienced at least one new caries lesion at the five-year follow-up. Multivariate models showed that age, number of baseline carious surfaces, and toothbrushing frequency (less than one vs. two or more times per day) were associated with caries increment. “Each additional year of age at baseline was associated with a 9-10% increase in caries increment.”
The authors note that their “data provide evidence that dental care interventions are not in and of themselves sufficient to prevent caries development among children who may be at higher risk of future caries.” They suggest “that the dental care provided during the trial reduced socio-demographic disparities in prior caries experience that were observed at baseline.”
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