Author(s): Brown LJ, Winn DM, White BA
This article provides estimates of dental caries experience and selected restorative and tooth conditions among U.S. adults, obtained from Phase 1 (1988-1991) of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Between 1988 and 1991, 94 percent of adults in the United States showed evidence of past or present coronal caries. Based on the data collected, the authors estimate that about 40.5 percent, or 61.6 million, dentate adults had at least one tooth or tooth space that could potentially benefit from professional treatment. Minimally, it is estimated that 135.6 million tooth or tooth spaces among U.S. adults may benefit from professional treatment. These estimates supplement information available from the DMF index to provide a broader profile of the impact of dental caries on permanent tooth of U.S. adults.