BACKGROUND: Previous studies focused on the dental caries status of East African children and not on their overall dental needs. Urban children consume more sugar-rich foods.
OBJECTIVES: To assess overall dental treatment needs of children living in an orphanage in Uganda.
STUDY DESIGN: Teeth were diagnosed as needing treatment by obvious frank carious lesions (WHO criteria), temporary fillings, staining, or very deep pit and/or fissures possibly requiring sealants. Calculus or crowding in the mandibular anterior region and evidence of tooth fractures were recorded, as were signs of wear on the mandibular molars and canines and the maxillary incisors.
RESULTS: Most of the primary teeth (64%) required no dental treatment, but almost all (98%) of the permanent teeth did. A mean (±standard deviation) of 4.81±1.92 permanent teeth required treatment. The mean number of missing teeth was 0.47. Thirty-one children (20.2%) had crowding, 52 (34%) had calculus, and 49 (32%) had signs of attrition on primary and permanent molar teeth (45 enamel only and 4 enamel and dentin).
CONCLUSIONS: Most of the primary teeth required no dental treatment, while the vast majority of permanent teeth did, possibly in association with high sugar cane consumption and poor brushing habits among older children.
- Dental health