Despite a global decline in caries experience in children, dental caries remains a common and persistent public health problem, being more prevalent among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. The aim of this survey is to evaluate DMFT index, caries prevalence and Unmet Restorative Treatment Needs (UNT) index in migrant and not migrant children with low income, in Campania region (Italy), in order to plan and build up strategies for promoting dental health in children and adequate health care for vulnerable groups.
Material and methods
A sample of 553 children (age range: 12–14 years old) were recruited from volunteer patients at a charitable foundation in Naples (Italy) and were categorised into 2 subgroups, according to their status of “migrant” or “not migrant”. Parents completed a questionnaire in order to investigate demographic and oral health behaviour. The participants were healthy and from low family income levels. DMFT scores and caries prevalence were calculated; UNT index was also calculated [D?(D + F)]%. The mean DMFT values related to the examined variables were calculated using one-way ANOVA.
Mean DMFT and UTN index were 3.92±2.92 and 86.3% for migrants, and 3.29±3.21 and 68.4% for not migrants, respectively. The difference in the mean DMFT between the two groups was statistically significant (p=.027). Caries prevalence was 77.5% and 55.9% in the migrant group and in the not migrant group, respectively. High DMFT values were statistically associated to history of previous dental visit, sugar intake, brushing teeth once a day, and low mothers’ educational level for both groups.
Economically disadvantaged children showed high levels of dental caries. Furthermore, DMFT values, caries prevalence and unmet restorative treatment needs index among migrant children were higher than that of not migrant. In order to reduce inequalities in dental caries experience, there is a need to design policies aimed at primary prevention through health promotion programmes.
Vol.20 – n.1/2019
Harvard: G. F. Ferrazzano, T. Cantile, G. Sangianantoni, A. Ingenito, S. Rengo, B. Alcidi, G. Spagnuolo (2019) "Oral health status and Unmet Restorative Treatment Needs (UTN) in disadvantaged migrant and not migrant children in Italy", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 20(1), pp10-14. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2019.20.01.02
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