[A 2-year evaluation of different methods of dental caries prophylaxis in a sample school-aged population].
ABSTRACT Caries is currently considered to be the most widespread disease affecting mankind; it is calculated in fact that around 90% of the world population suffers from caries. Carious pathology therefore plays a key role, not least due to the high social costs which it entails, and, for this reason, research into appropriate methods of prevention which can to some extent limit the incidence of caries are of particular interest. MATERIALS AND METHODS. The study was performed in a group of 1475 selected primary-school children. After having subdivided the population in three groups, an initial dental examination was carried out and the results obtained were quantified by calculating DMFT. The first group (492 children) was instructed to follow the rules of oral and dietary hygiene. The second group (501 children), in addition to the instructions given to the first group, also received fluoro-prophylactic treatment. Lastly, the third group (482 children) were used as a reference sample and did not receive any form of instruction or treatment. RESULTS. After two years DMFT values were increased in all three groups; in detail, values rose 0.41 in the first group, 0.38 in the second group, and 0.81 in the third group. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS. Scrupulous oral hygiene and a correct diet represent a prophylactic measure of outstanding importance in terms of carious pathology. The minimum difference observed between the first and second groups should probably be attributed to the fact that fluoro-prophylactic treatment requires a period of more than 24 months before appreciable results can be seen.