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Aust Dent J. 2017 Jun;62(2):165-172. doi: 10.1111/adj.12449. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

Dental enamel defects, caries experience and oral health-related quality of life: a cohort study.

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Department of Health, Dental Health Services, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.



The impact of enamel defects of the first permanent molars on caries experience and child oral health-related quality of life was evaluated in a cohort study.


Children who participated in a study of enamel defects of the first permanent molars 8 years earlier were invited for a follow-up assessment. Consenting children completed the Child Perception Questionnaire and the faces Modified Child Dental Anxiety Scale, and were examined by two calibrated examiners. ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, negative binomial and logistic regression were used for data analyses.


One hundred and eleven children returned a completed questionnaire and 91 were clinically examined. Negative binomial regression found that oral health impacts were associated with gender (boys, risk ratio (RR) = 0.73, P = 0.03) and decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth (DMFT) (RR = 1.1, P = 0.04). The mean DMFT of children were sound (0.9, standard deviation (SD) = 1.4), diffuse defects (0.8, SD = 1.7), demarcated defects (1.5, SD = 1.4) and pit defects (1.3, SD = 2.3) (Kruskal-Wallis, P = 0.05). Logistic regression of first permanent molar caries found higher odds of caries experience with baseline primary tooth caries experience (odds ratio (OR) = 1.5, P = 0.01), the number of teeth affected by enamel defects (OR = 1.9, P = 0.05) and lower odds with the presence of diffuse enamel defects (OR = 0.1, P = 0.04).


The presence of diffuse enamel defects was associated with lower odds of caries experience.


Caries experience; child dental anxiety; child oral health-related quality of life; cohort study; dental enamel defects

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