Heba Alkarimi

Heba Alkarimi

King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital, Saudi Arabia

Title: Effect of dental treatment on children’s health related outcomes


Dr Alkarimi has completed her MSc and PhD in Dental Public Health, University Colage London (UCL). She is the director of Maternal and Child Oral Health (MCOH) Program at King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Her interests include effects of oral health on weight and height and oral health inequalities and social determinants.


Background/Introduction Dental caries is a significant public health problem in Arab countries. Weight gain in low weight children after dental treatment was reported by some studies from developed countries. Aims/Objectives To evaluate the effect of treatment of severe caries on children’s health related outcomes Method A randomised controlled trial of 86 children from military primary schools who satisfied the selection criteria was carries out. Dental and anthropometric examinations were performed using WHO standardised procedures. Dental treatment was provided to the test group and all selected outcomes were measured 6-month post-intervention for test and control groups. ANCOVA and regression modelling were used to analyse data. Results Children in test group reported to have significantly better health related outcomes than controls though height and weight showed insignificant improvements after treatment of caries. Discussion/Conclusion Although dental treatment did not significantly improve the mean weight and height, treated children had lower levels of dental pain, sepsis and dissatisfaction with teeth and smiling. Interestingly, a significant increase in appetite was identified in test group compared to controls.