Author(s): RamosGomez FJ, Huang GF, Masouredis CM, Braham RL
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Abstract To determine the prevalence of infant caries in low-socioeconomic-status children and to analyze the costs of their treatment, we retrospectively evaluated 357 children, ages eight months to seven years, who were treated during 1992 at a university-associated medical center in Northern California. Infant caries was diagnosed by several different standards, and prevalence varied according to the diagnostic criteria employed: 27 percent by the presence of any labiolingual lesion on the maxillary incisors; 32 percent by the presence of at least two carious maxillary incisors; 27 percent by the presence of at least three carious maxillary incisors; and 36 percent by a dmft > or = 5. Prevalence was higher among boys than girls (37 percent versus 27 percent), and highest in the group ages 3-4 years (43 percent). The cost of dental treatment increased with deft and ranged from $408 for deft 2-5 to $1725 for deft 16-20. Many patients failed to comply with recommended treatment for reasons of cost. Our results showed that (1) the prevalence of infant caries varies depending upon the clinical criteria used for diagnosis; (2) the cost of rehabilitating primary dentition increases in proportion to the number of teeth involved; and (3) low-income patients avoid treatment of infant caries for a variety of reasons related to the cost involved.
This article was published in ASDC J Dent Child
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals