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Rev Saude Publica. 2007 Oct;41(5):830-8.

[Association between preventive care provided in public dental services and caries prevalence].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Epidemiologia, Instituto de Medicina Social, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeir, RJ, Brasil.



To assess the association between preventive care provided in public dental services and young people's oral health.


Oral health data on 4,033 young people aged 15 to 19 years living in 85 municipalities of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, were obtained from the national oral health survey "Sa├║de Bucal Brasil 2003" for the period 2002-2003. The following variables were studied: age, gender, income, education, time elapsed since last dental visit, reason for dental visit, and water fluoridation. Data on dental care services were obtained from the national database of public health services. Statistical analysis was performed using multilevel logistic regression.


Youngsters from the 21 municipalities with the lowest preventive care (scaling + fluoride + sealants) rates per 100 inhabitants were 2.27 (95% CI: 1.45;3.56) more likely to have non-filled dental cavities than those from the 21 municipalities with the highest care rates. After adjustment for a number of individual and contextual factors this likelihood decreased to 1.76 (95% CI: 1.13;2.72). The variance attributable to variables at municipal level was 14.1% for the empty model and decreased to 10.5% for the fully adjusted model.


Rio Grande do Sul public dental services may have contributed for the reduction in the number of non-filled cavities in young people. However, it was not possible to detect the impact of this service on total dental caries experience.

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