Caries Experience of Chinese Children With Cleft Lip and Palate

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This study evaluated the caries experience in the primary teeth of children with and without cleft lip and palate (CLP).


Observational study.


Dental hospital clinic.


The sample consisted of 132 pairs of Chinese children with and without CLP matched by gender, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Their ages were between 2 and 7 years.


The children were dichotomized into 2- to 4-year-old (n = 71) and 5- to 7-year-old groups (n = 61). The oral examination was performed by one trained and calibrated dentist, and the caries experience was determined using the dmft (decay missing filled teeth) index.


For the 2- to 4-year-old group, the dmft values were 1.5 for the cleft group and 1.6 for the non-CLP group, but the difference was not statistically significant. For the 5- to 7-year-old group, the dmft indices were 5.2 for the cleft group compared with 2.9 for the control group; this difference was statistically significant (p= .0006). The caries rate for the various tooth types in the 5- to 7-year-old group was higher in the CLP group than in the non-CLP group; the most marked difference was for the lateral incisors, mandibular molars, and maxillary left first molars (p= .0001).


The 5- to 7-year-old children with CLP had a higher caries experience in the primary dentition than the children without CLP.

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