Author(s): Steinmeyer R
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Abstract The findings of the dental medical examinations of the school years 1996/1997 and 1997/1998 in the first classes of primary schools in Koblenz have been associated with district-related social indicators given in the social report for Koblenz, and more especially the "proportion of recipients of social welfare assistance among the 0-13 year-olds" indicator. The caries prevalence indices as well as the treatment deficits, the proportion of those needing treatment and the proportion of children with increased risk of caries clearly increased parallel with the proportion of social welfare assistance amongst the children although the greatest difference was seen in the case of districts with average social welfare assistance density and such with high/very high social welfare assistance density. Even at individual school levels a close connection could be established between the proportion of social welfare assistance recipients amongst the 0-13 year-olds in the school district and a) the proportion of children with increased caries risk in accordance with DAJ (Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Jugendzahnpflege) criteria (r(s) = + 0.881) as well as b) a multi-factorial "first school class dental health index" (EZI) (which covered both prevalence and treatment parameters and also findings below the risk threshold of the DAJ criteria) developed for comparing the schools with each other (r(s) = + 0.825). The six "risk schools" (from 22 primary schools) determined by a) the proportion of children with increased caries risk according to DAJ criteria, b) the multi-factorial EZI and c) the social welfare assistance proportion amongst the 0-13 year-olds in the school district, are identical. In comparison with the complex multi-factorial first school class dental health index (EZI), the study confirms the general suitability of the "proportion of children with increased caries risk" for the identification of schools with above-average deficit in dental health care. However, at the same time such "risk schools" - at least in the towns with documented social differentiation of the resident population in the various town districts - can also be determined by the district-related social indicators. This may be significant in such cases where there are no dental examination results (determined according to uniform criteria) available for all schools in one town or region, but specific measures (for example examinations, prevention, fluoridation) should be concentrated on schools with greater need for such measures.
This article was published in Gesundheitswesen
and referenced in Pediatric Dental Care