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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


SAMPAIO, Fábio Correia; FREITAS, Cláudia Helena Soares de Morais; CABRAL, Matilde Barbosa de Farias  and  MACHADO, Ana Thereza de Azevedo Britto. Dental caries and treatment needs among indigenous people of the Potiguara Indian reservation in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.4, pp.246-251. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJETIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the caries prevalence and treatment needs of Brazilian indigenous residents on an Indian reservation. METHODS: This cross-sectional study comprised 1 461 individuals of ages 18-36 months and 5, 12, 15-19, 35-44, and 65-74 years living in the Potiguara Indian villages of Brazil. Decayed, missing, or filled permanent teeth (DMFT) and deciduous teeth (dmft) were determined by calibrated examiners using the methodology recommended by the World Health Organization. Treatment needs were assessed with the guidelines of the 2003 Brazilian Oral Health Survey. RESULTS: Means ± standard deviations (SD) for dmft of 18- to 36-month-old and 5-year-old children were 2.5 ± 3.7 and 5.8 ± 4.3, respectively. For the age groups 12, 15-19, 35-44, and 65-74 years, mean ± SD values of DMFT were 3.6 ± 3.1, 7.1 ± 4.9, 16.4 ± 7.5, and 22.8 ± 8.6. The mean ± SD number of deciduous teeth requiring treatment varied from 2.4 ± 3.5 to 5.0 ± 4.0 in the 18- to 36-month and 5-year-old age groups, respectively. Among adolescents and adults, it was observed that on average at least three permanent teeth required dental treatment such as fillings, crowns, endodontic treatment, and extractions. CONCLUSIONS: High prevalence of caries and many teeth needing treatment were observed in all age groups of the Potiguara Indians.

Keywords : Dental caries; DMF index; dental health surveys; dental health services; indigenous population; Brazil.

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