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BMC Oral Health. 2013 May 2;13:19. doi: 10.1186/1472-6831-13-19.

Dental caries among children visiting a mobile dental clinic in South Central Kentucky: a pooled cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, College of Health and Human Services, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Dental caries is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases affecting a large portion of children in the United States. The prevalence of childhood dental caries in Kentucky is among the highest in the nation. The purposes of this study are to (1) compare sociodemographic differences between caries and no caries groups and (2) investigate factors associated with untreated dental caries among children who visited a mobile dental clinic in South Central Kentucky.

METHODS:

Study subjects were children aged 6 to 15 years who participated in the school-based dental sealant program through the mobile dental clinic operated by the Institute for Rural Health at Western Kentucky University between September 2006 and May 2011 (n = 2,453). Descriptive statistics were calculated for sociodemographic factors (age, gender, race/ethnicity, insurance status, and urban versus rural residential location) and caries status. We used chi-square tests to compare sociodemographic differences of children stratified by caries and no caries status as well as three levels of caries severity. We developed a logistic regression model to investigate factors associated with untreated dental caries while controlling for sociodemographic characteristics.

RESULTS:

The proportion of children having untreated dental caries was 49.7% and the mean number of untreated dental caries was 2.0. The proportion of untreated dental caries was higher in older children, children with no insurance and living in rural residential locations, and caries severity was also higher in these groups. Odds ratio indicated that older ages, not having private insurance (having only public, government-sponsored insurance or no insurance at all) and rural residential location were associated with having untreated dental caries after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics of children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Untreated dental caries was more likely to be present in older children living in rural areas without insurance. Health interventionists may use this information and target rural children without having proper insurance in order to reduce geographic disparities in untreated dental caries in South Central Kentucky.

PMID:
23639250
PMCID:
PMC3653808
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6831-13-19
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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