Public Dental Policies and their Relationship with History of Cavities in Children Controlled in Public Healthcare in Chile (2008-2017)

2022 • Volume 16 • Issue 1

Carla Cifuentes-Harris & Raquel Sánchez-Recio



Diseases affecting oral health in Chile are highly prevalent, severe and affect people’s quality of life. The Chilean State has implemented public policies aimed at improving oral health, mainly benefiting children and pregnant women. This was an analytical observational study. DMF index for primary and permanent theeth were analyzed for ages: 2, 4, 6 and 12 years, obtained from the Monthly Statistical Records (MSR) for the years 2008-2017 (n=3.415.720). Data analysis: Excel 2011, EPIDAT 4.2 and SPSS; Chi-square and T-student tests (95% CI and p<0.05). Decrease in caries prevalence and severity during the 10 years under study (p<0.05). Statistically significant decrease in the prevalence and severity of caries after the implementation of the program benefiting 6-year-old children. As for the Oral Health Program for Pregnant Women and Sowing Smiles programs, they only had a statistically significant decrease in the severity of caries. A positive impact of all the public policies studied was observed, mainly in the severity of caries over the years under study. Statistical comparisons with previous studies cannot be made because they present very dissimilar methodologies. The relevance of a correct recording of the indices in the MSR should be emphasized. It is necessary to carry out epidemiological surveillance according to the methodologies and times indicated in order to evaluate the role played by prevention and promotion as set out in the strategic objectives of the decade that has just ended.

KEY WORDS: public policies, prevalence, dental caries, DMF index.


How to cite this article

CIFUENTES-HARRIS, C. & SÁNCHEZ-RECIO, R. Public dental policies and their relationship with history of cavities in children controlled in public healthcare in Chile (2008-2017). Int. J. Odontostomat., 16(1):147-158, 2022.


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