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Community Dent Health. 2013 Mar;30(1):15-8.

Fluoridation and dental caries severity in young children treated under general anaesthesia: an analysis of treatment records in a 10-year case series.

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Department of Oral Sciences, Sir John Walsh Research Institute, School of Dentistry, The University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.



To compare the severity of dental caries in the primary dentitions of children under 7 years (who received comprehensive restorative treatment under general anaesthesia, GA) from an optimally fluoridated area (0.85 ppmF) and a low-fluoride area (approximately 0.1 ppmF).


Consecutive clinical case series: clinical details (diagnoses and the treatments provided) were recorded for children who had received comprehensive dental care under GA between 2000 and 2009. Age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status and fluoridation status (determined from the residential address) were also recorded.


Of the 1396 treated children, 55.7% came from fluoridated areas and 52.5% were male. On average, children from low-fluoride areas were 2.4 months younger and presented with more decayed deciduous teeth than those from fluoridated areas (4.9 and 3.9 teeth respectively; p<0.0001). For each tooth type, the mean number of carious teeth at presentation was greater among the children from low-fluoride areas. In the multivariate model, the number of deciduous teeth affected by caries was lower among older children, those residing in a fluoridated area and among those seen after 2001. It was higher among those not living in high-SES areas.


Children with severe dental caries had statistically significantly lower numbers of lesions if they lived in a fluoridated area. The lower treatment need in such high-risk children has important implications for publicly-funded dental care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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