African Health Sciences

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Pattern of dental caries in Mulago Dental School clinic, Uganda

Annet Kutesa, Andrew Mwanika, Margaret Wandera


Information on dental caries among patients attending Mulago Hospital is scarce. Yet knowledge of the pattern of caries can be used to plan preventive and treatment interventions. This study describes the pattern of dental caries (in terms of age group, tooth and tooth surface and gender) among patients attending the Public Health Dental Officers School Clinic, Mulago Hospital.

Methodology: A review of patients' treatment records for the period 1995 to 1999 was done. A total of 1800 cards were reviewed for the diagnosis of dental caries, age, gender and the data was analyzed using EPI INFO 6 program. The patients were from both urban and peri-urban settings and were aged between 10–90 years.

Results: The results showed that the most frequently affected tooth surface was the occlusal (68.8%) followed by the interproximal (24%) and the least affected was the lingual/palatal (1.5%). The second molars were found to be the most affected of all teeth, with tooth 37(12%), 47(11%), 17(9.5%) and 27 (9.1%). The distribution of caries was higher in the lower than the upper jaw.

There was a slight difference in sex predilection with females having 54.5% and males 45.5% of the lesions and the age group most affected was 20-29 years.

Conclusion: The results showed a high occurrence of occlusal surface caries in molars especially the second molars in the 20-29 age group in the patients attending the Public Health Dental Officers School Clinic, Mulago Hospital.
Key words: caries experience, tooth surfaces, occlusal
African Journal of Health Sciences Vol.5(1) 2005: 65-68

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