Caries Experience of Chinese Children With Cleft Lip and Palate

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Abstract

Objective:

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

Design:

Observational study.

Setting:

Dental hospital clinic.

Patients:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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).

Conclusions:

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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