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The oral health of children with clefts of the lip, palate, or both

Lookup NU author(s): Jonathan Chapple


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Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of dental caries, developmental defects of enamel, and related factors in children with clefts. Design: This cross-sectional prevalence study used standard dental indices for assessment. Setting: Children underwent a dental examination under standard conditions of seating and lighting in the outpatient department of a dental hospital as part of an ongoing audit to monitor clinical outcomes. Participants: Ninety-one children aged 4, 8, and 12 years were included in the study. Outcome Measurements Dental caries were assessed by use of the decayed, missing, and filled index for primary teeth (dmft); Decayed, Missing, and Filled index for permanent teeth (DMFT) according to the criteria as used in the national survey of children's dental health in the United Kingdom (O'Brien, 1994). Developmental defects were assessed using the modified Developmental Defects of Enamel Index (Clarkson and O'Mullane, 1989). Dental erosion was assessed using the criteria derived for the national survey of children's dental health (O'Brien, 1994). Results: Caries prevalence increased with age; 63% of patients at 4 years and 34% at 12 years were caries free. The mean dmft for the 4-year-olds was 1.3 with a mean DMFT for the 12-year-olds of 1.8. All the 4-year-olds had evidence of erosion of enamel in the primary teeth (incisors and first molars) and 56% of the 12-year-olds had erosion of permanent teeth (incisors and first permanent molars). Developmental defects of enamel became more prevalent with age, with at least one opacity in 56% of 4-year-olds and 100% of 12-year-olds. Hypoplasia was not found in the primary dentition but affected permanent teeth in 38% of 8-year-olds and 23% of the 12-year-olds. Conclusion: This study has shown that dental disease is prevalent in these patients. These assessments not only provide a baseline on oral health parameters in young people with clefts but underline the need for a more aggressive approach to prevention of oral disease to optimize clinical outcome.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chapple JR, Nunn JH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal

Year: 2001

Volume: 38

Issue: 5

Pages: 525-528

ISSN (print): 1055-6656

ISSN (electronic): 1545-1569

Publisher: Allen Press Inc.


DOI: 10.1597/1545-1569(2001)038<0525:TOHOCW>2.0.CO;2

PubMed id: 11522175


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