Method: Data from dental records of 78 children ages 4-7 attending an urban clinic were analyzed for the study. Data was extracted for the following variables: gender, age, ethnicity, teeth present, and dental caries.
Of the 78 children, slightly less than 63% were female and 37% were male. Forty-one percent were 7 years old, and 24.4 % were five years old. African Americans comprised 71.8%, Hispanics 23.1% and Caucasians 5.1%. There was a significant relationship between age and ethnicity (p=0.001) with a greater proportion of Hispanics ages 4 and 5 and African Americans ages 6 and 7. Proportionate to the number of children with a specific tooth and caries in that tooth, the mandibular right first permanent molar (#30) presented with carious lesions in 12.8 %, followed by the mandibular left first molar (#19) with 10.6% and the mandibular right second primary tooth (T) with 9.2%. Ethnicity was significantly related to the presence of any permanent molar. A greater proportion of those with any permanent molar were African American. While age and presence of any permanent molar was significant (p<0.001), there was no significant relationship between age and caries status.
Conclusion: This group of children showed earlier emergence of permanent molars in African-American children when compared to Hispanic children. The presence of any permanent molar can increase the presence of dental caries.
Keywords: Assessment, Caries, Children, Epidemiology and Oral hygiene
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Signed on 10/06/2013 by S.J. DANIEL