Dental caries experience in Australian Army recruits 2002-2003

School of Dental Science, The University of Melbourne, Victoria.
Australian Dental Journal (Impact Factor: 1.1). 04/2005; 50(1):16-20.
Source: PubMed


Recent data have suggested that the trend of decreasing caries experience in Australian children is slowing with increasing dmft and DMFT scores seen in children. However, there are limited data on dental caries experience in young Australian adults.
A cross-sectional study of 973 Australian Army recruits was conducted between November 2002 and March 2003. A clinical examination with bitewing radiographs was conducted and a questionnaire was used to elicit socio-demographic information.
Mean DMFT scores were 2.43, 3.44, 5.48, 7.02 and 10.77 for subjects aged 17-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35 and 36-51 years respectively. Subjects with a lifetime exposure to fluoridated drinking water had a mean DMFT of 2.80 while subjects with no exposure to fluoridated drinking water had a mean DMFT of 3.91. Multivariate Poisson regression found that age, level of educationand lifetime exposure to fluoridated drinking water had a statistically significant effect on caries experience.
It appears that there has been a continual decline in caries experience and prevalence in young Australian adults between 1996 and 2002-2003. Lifetime exposure to fluoridated drinking water conferred an appreciable benefit for subjects in this study compared with subjects with no exposure to fluoridated drinking water.

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