Caries Experience and Treatment Needs in Urban and Rural Environments in School-Age Children from Three Provinces of Ecuador: A Cross-Sectional Study

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Dentistry Journal
In Ecuador, national epidemiological surveys have not been updated; however, some regional studies in the northern areas of the country still report a high prevalence of dental caries. The aim of this study was to determine the experience, severity, and need for treatment of dental caries in school children aged 6 to 12 years in urban and rural settings in three provinces of southern Ecuador. This cross-sectional, relational study examined 1938 schoolchildren in the provinces of Azuay, Cañar, and Morona Santiago. The survey instruments were based mainly on the WHO manual Methods of Oral Health Surveys (dmft) for primary and permanent dentition (DMFT), as well as the prevalence, severity, and Significant Caries Index (SCI). The parametric Student’s t-test was used to compare two groups, and the Spearman’s Rho and Tau-c Kendall correlation coefficients were used to associate the categorical variables. Results: The prevalence of caries in the primary dentition was 78% and 89.2% in the permanent dentition. The dmft (M = 4.12, SD = 2.86) and DMFT (M = 3.62: SD = 3.07) placed the general group in a moderate caries index. The need for treatment was 90.68% in the primary dentition, while it was 87.99% in the permanent dentition. Caries severity in both dentitions was high (M = 7.74; SD = 3.42). Conclusions. Alarming indicators of caries experience and the need for treatment were observed in the population studied