Community Dental Health

cover art

Cover Date:
June 2014
Print ISSN:
0265 539X

CDH June14 3351-Monaghan pp105-110.pdf

Community Dental Health (2014) 31, 105–110 Received 12 December 2013; Accepted 18 January 2014

© BASCD 2014 doi:10.1922/CDH_3351Monaghan06

The caries experience of 5-year-old children in Scotland, Wales and England in 2011-2012: Reports of cross-sectional surveys using BASCD criteria

Objective: This paper collates differences in methods and trends in caries prevalence in surveys of the oral health of young children undertaken in Scotland, Wales and England in 2011-12. For Wales and England this was the second survey carried out since changes were required in consent arrangements. Method: In compliance with BASCD criteria representative samples were drawn within the geographies of primary care organisations across the UK, and within Local Authorities across England and Wales. Consent was sought in two ways; via opt-in parental consent in England and Wales and opt-out parental consent in Scotland. Children aged five were examined in England and those aged 5 to 6 were examined in Wales and Scotland. Examinations were conducted in schools by trained and calibrated examiners and caries was diagnosed at the dentinal threshold using visual criteria. Results: In Scotland there is a continuing decline in caries prevalence in young school children. Comparison with the previous survey using positive consent in England and Wales shows a decline in caries in both England and Wales although decay levels remain higher in more deprived areas. Conclusion: International comparisons assist in interpreting data and trends even if there are some differences in approach. A trend line is more useful than a single data point for monitoring of oral health. This second survey using positive parental consent in England and Wales has enabled trend analysis for the first time since the consent arrangements changed.

Key words: epidemiology, dental caries, dmf index, Great Britain, parental consent

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