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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2011 May;22(2):648-62. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2011.0063.

Dental caries in underprivileged children of Los Angeles.

Author information

1
Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. mulligan@usc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the disease of dental caries among a population of poor, migrant, minority children in Los Angeles County.

METHODS:

The study team developed an instrument to be completed by parents about their children's determinants of oral health, and adapted the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) protocol for conducting clinical examinations. The target groups were 2-5, 6-8 and 14-16 year-old children. Subjects were selected from public schools and early childhood programs.

RESULTS:

The study recruited 2,313 children and found that 73% of all children had untreated caries (29% of them had white spot lesions only), 53% had fillings or crowns, and 81% needed dental care.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is the most comprehensive study of oral health among disadvantaged children of Los Angeles County. The study documented an epidemic of dental caries in the County, the oral health profiles of disadvantaged children, and prepared for the design of appropriate intervention programs.

PMID:
21551940
DOI:
10.1353/hpu.2011.0063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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