Prevalence and severity of dental caries among 18-year-old Lithuanian adolescents
The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence and severity of dental caries among 18-year-old Lithuanian adolescents and to disclose possible differences in the prevalence and severity of dental caries related to gender, urbanization, and different county.
Material and methods
A total of 1063 18-year-old adolescents attending school, 427 boys and 636 girls from 10 Lithuanian counties including urban and rural areas, were included in the cross-sectional study on dental caries. The method of multistage cluster sampling was used. The dental examination was performed according to the methodology of oral status evaluation recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO). The prevalence of dental caries, DMFT score, Significant Caries Index, and dental care index were determined.
The overall prevalence of dental caries among 18-year-old Lithuanian adolescents was 78.3%. The study population had a mean DMFT score of 2.93 [SD, 2.81]. Considering the gender, a higher DMFT score was observed among girls than boys (3.03 [SD, 2.88] versus 2.73 [SD, 2.71]) and in rural than urban areas (3.02 [SD, 2.98] versus 2.89 [SD, 2.73]). The Significant Caries Index and the dental care index among 18-year-old adolescents were 6.14 and 62.3%, respectively.
This study showed a relatively high prevalence of dental caries. The existing differences of caries experience between the urban and the rural areas as well as between the counties could be influenced by the socioeconomic differences in the country.
Correspondence to K. Saldūnaitė Department of Preventive and Pediatric Dentistry, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org