Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Public Health. 2009 Jun;19(3):337-42. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckp035. Epub 2009 Mar 23.

Inequalities in dental caries of 5-year-old children in Scotland, 1993-2003.

Author information

Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit, The Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh, St Leonard's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ, UK.



Previous research suggests there are significant differences between socio-economic groups in prevalence and amount of decayed missing and filled primary teeth (d3mft). The aim of this study was to describe the variation in obvious tooth decay experience amongst 5-year olds in Scotland and to look at the association between d3mft and deprivation in Scotland.


Data derived from 1993 to 2003 National Dental Inspection Programme were modelled using Bayesian multilevel zero-inflated Negative Binomial models, adjusting for age, sex and the deprivation.


Deprivation is positively and significantly associated with having d3mft; the odds of a child in DepCat 7 (most deprived) having d3mft in 1993 were 7.49 (5.03-11.15) that of a child in DepCat 1 (most affluent). Inequalities in the prevalence of d3mft have reduced and in 2003 the odds of a child in DepCat 7 having d3mft were 4.60 (3.47-6.14) that of a child in DepCat 1. However, socio-economic inequalities in the amount of d3mft for those with d3mft have seen no reduction and have in fact increased between 1993 and 2003, with this increase approaching significance.


While socio-economic inequalities in prevalence of children with d3mft have decreased in recent years, socio-economic inequalities in the amount of d3mft for those with d3mft persist. This suggests that improvements are only seen for those children with the potential for low d3mft. High d3mft persists among children from more deprived areas. The national target conceals this apparent inconsistency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center