Rates of dental caries in children decline in Scotland

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Rates of dental caries in children decline in Scotland

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A survey of Scottish children’s dental health has found that rates of dental caries have fallen significantly over the past several years. (Photo: amelaxa/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

By Dental Tribune International

Tue. 5 November 2013

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EDINBURGH, UK: According to the latest statistics, the oral health of children in Scotland continues to improve. Overall, a report recently published by the Information Services Division (ISD Scotland), a division of NHS Scotland that provides health information, health intelligence, statistical services and advice, has demonstrated that rates of dental decay have fallen significantly since 2005.

The 2013 survey, which was undertaken in the 2012/13 school year among children aged 10 to 13 across Scotland, showed that almost 75 per cent of children in this age group had no obvious decay experience in their permanent molars, compared with about 70 per cent in 2011 and 53 per cent in 2005. The average number of teeth affected by obvious decay experience improved from 1.29 in 2005 to 0.7 in 2011 and 0.6 in 2013.

With regard to the 27 per cent of children who showed signs of decay, the investigators found that, on average, just over half of the teeth with obvious caries experience had been treated with a restoration.

In the 10 to 12 age group, children from all socio-economic backgrounds saw an improvement in their dental health compared with the results of 2011, the investigators found. The major improvement occurred in the most deprived quintiles. However, they also pointed out that clear health inequalities remain.

It is anticipated that the improved level of dental health will be maintained as the Childsmile programme, a national initiative aimed at reducing inequalities in oral health and ensuring access to dental services for every child across the country, continues to be refined and implemented.

The report, titled “National Dental Inspection Programme (NDIP) 2013”, was published by ISD Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Dental Epidemiology Coordinating Committee. The full report is available on the division’s website.

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