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