Caries is the most prevalent chronic disease in children, constituting a worldwide public health problem. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and severity of caries in children included in the Oral Health Program associated to schools of the National Board of School Aid and Scholarships (JUNAEB). A crosssectional study based on data from 2015 electronic register JUNAEB Oral Health Program was carried out. The main variables studied were presence and severity of caries (dmft and DMFT indices) and association variables were geographical area, sex, type of administrative dependency of the school, type of education, health system, and situation of extreme poverty, type of teething and type of care. The independent association between the variables was analyzed using the Chi2 test and the t-test.The sample consisted of 162,116 individuals, 50 % being women. The studied population showed a prevalence of 49 % and a CEOD and COPD index of 2.48 and 1.55, respectively. The highest prevalence (63 %) was the south-central zone and the BíoBío region showed the highest severity indices (p <0.001). The most significant associations were between caries and socioeconomic level and geographic area (p <0.001). This study shows the association between caries prevalence / severity and socioeconomic level, and the geographical distribution of caries, which make necessary the implementation of preventive measures that compensate rurality, or the lack of water fluoridation in some areas of extreme poverty.
KEY WORDS: dental caries, risk factors, child, prevalence, socioeconomic factors.
How to cite this article
ESPINOZA-ESPINOZA, G.; PINEDA, P.; ATALAACEVEDO, C.; MUÑOZ-MILLÁN, P. ; MUÑOZ, S.; WEITS, A.; HERNANDEZ, B.; CASTILLO, J. & ZAROR, C. Prevalence and severity of dental caries in beneficiary children in the oral health program associated with schools in Chile. Int. J. Odontostomat., 15(1):166-174, 2021.