Annual Dental Checkups in Children Lagging Behind

by Medindia Content Team on  February 1, 2006 at 6:26 PM Dental News   - G J E 4
Annual Dental Checkups in Children Lagging Behind
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the United States has said in its latest report that less than 50 percent of children aged between 2 and 17 undergo a dental check-up one a year. This scenario is prevalent even though tooth decay is a major problem in childhood and can be prevented by simple measures.

AHRQ's Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) said that 49 percent of the 32 million American children did not get dental checkups in 2003. * The survey also revealed that most health care professional neglected to advise parents about the importance of preventive measures. It was found that only 46 percent of children aged 2 and 17 were able to get this advice. * Only about 34 percent Hispanic and 42 percent black children had dental checkups once a year as compared to 59.5 percent non-Hispanic white children. * 60.9 percent of children with at least one educated parent had a dental check up once a year, while 33.2 percent of children whose parents had only completed high school or less had an annual checkup. * It was also found that in 56 percent of children the main reason for lack of dental care was financial considerations. For more details see "Statistical Brief: Children's Dental Care-Periodicity of Checkups and Access to Care, 2003," at (PDF) or visit

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The comment above about "very few who didn't have dental caries........" and "This is a universal disorder" is no longer accurate. Dental caries is sequesterd in an increasingly smaller portion of our populations. The AHRQ data are relevant in lowers SES groups and as noted, at lower parental educational attainment levels. However, the statement that implies that this is a pandemic across all social strata is just inaccurate.The last NHANES study showed that 20% of the population has 60% of the cavities. Newer data show that concentration is increasing. For instance, one study shows that 10% of an insured population receives 65% of the restorations (a surrogate for cavities).
guest Thursday, February 2, 2006

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