Prevalence and Severity of Dental Caries by Gender, Age and Educational Levels in Rural Dominican Republic

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Authors : Payal Kahar, Christine A. Tisone



To determine prevalence and severity of dental caries using WHO methods by age, gender and educational levels and compare actual DMFT scores to self-reported scores.


Cross-sectional study was conducted using face-to-face interviews and oral examinations in La Esquina community, Province Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Dominican Republic (DR) among 104 adult participants. Caries experience was determined using DMFT scores.


Prevalence of caries was high with 94.2% of participants affected by it. Mean DMFT index (11.95±9.67) for participants having ≤ 8 years of school education was significantly higher than the mean score (6.69±4.39) for people with >8 years of education (F=9.3; p<0.01). Likewise, mean DMFT score for age group ≥55 years was significantly higher than for younger age categories (F=5.87; p<0.01). Caries severity was found to be statistically significant by age groups (χ2 =17.42, p=.002) with more proportion of participants ≥ 55 years having DMFT score≥14. Actual mean DMFT score was 4.51 higher than mean self-reported score (9.51 versus 5.08) (Spearman r=.27; p= .01).


This study provides preliminary data on caries prevalence and identifies unmet treatment needs in rural DR. While caries experience among adults increased significantly both by age and educational levels, caries severity increased significantly with age alone.


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