Developmental Enamel Defects in Children from the Southern Region of Ecuador

Developmental defects of enamel (DDEs) are widely observed in children and are related to the appearance of dental caries, malocclusion, tooth sensitivity, and unfavorable esthetic conditions. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine the prevalence and distribution of enamel defects present in children aged 6 to 12 years in the provinces located in southern Ecuador. A total of 1606 schoolchildren were examined under the World Health Organization criteria for diagnosis of DDEs. The results are presented using percentage frequency measures and chi-square associations. Some types of DDEs were presented by 50% of the schoolchildren, mainly diffuse opacity, with no statistical differences according to place of residence and/or environment, sex, and age (p > 0.05). In Ecuador, it is necessary to carry out studies on the factors that trigger enamel defects, since they may be associated with the high prevalence of caries already reported in other studies in the country.