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Bull World Health Organ. 1997;75(3):197-203.

Dental caries among Australian Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal Australian-born, and overseas-born children.

Author information

  • 1Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Dental Statistics, University of Adelaide, Australia.

Abstract

Few studies have specifically compared the prevalence of dental caries among contemporary Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. Historically, Aboriginal groups have had substantially fewer dental caries than non-Aboriginal peoples. More recently, however, this trend appears to have been reversed, with improvements in the oral health of non-Aboriginal children and a deterioration in that of Aboriginal children; this tendency has important implications for dental health services. This study compared the caries experience among a weighted sample of Community Dental Service patients aged 4-13 years for the period January-December 1992 among 4138 Aboriginal children, 9674 non-Aboriginal Australian-born children, and 957 overseas-born children resident in Northern Territory, Australia. The outcomes considered included the aggregate numbers of decayed, missing and filled deciduous (dmft) and permanent (DMFT) teeth. Oral disease experience and prevalence of untreated oral disease were higher among Aboriginal and overseas-born children. An analysis of variance using planned comparisons indicated that there were significantly more decayed teeth and higher aggregate caries experience in the deciduous and permanent dentition of Aboriginal and overseas-born children than of non-Aboriginal Australian-born children, while overseas-born children also had more fillings and fissure sealants than the non-Aboriginal Australian-born children.

PMID:
9277006
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2486947
Free PMC Article
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