Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry                           
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 53--55

Prevalence of dental caries among high school attendees in Qazvin, Iran

J Hamissi1, GH Ramezani2, A Ghodousi3,  
1 Department of Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
2 Department of Pedodontics Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Islamic Azad University Dental Branch, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Biostatestic, Faculty of Medicine, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

Correspondence Address:
J Hamissi
Department of Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Qazvin University of Medical Science, Shaheed Bahonar Blv, Qazvin, 34197-59811., I.R


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of dental caries among high school students in Qazvin, Iran. Materials and Methods: Seven hundred and eighty randomly selected high school students participated in this study. There wer 315 (40.38%) boys and 465 (59.62%) girls of the ages of 15 and 16 years. They were examined for dental caries using World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic criteria. The data were obtained from the epidemiological study of oral health carried out. Results: Of the total sample, only 24.5% were caries free, i.e.,the caries prevalence was 75.5%. The mean DMFT value for the total sample was 2.71 ( 0.86). Male students had a higher mean DMFT value (2.88 0.61) than female students (2.54 0.71) (P > 0.05). The mean DMFT value for the 15-year-old children was 2.66 ( 0.85) and for the 16-year-old children it was 2.76 ( 0.92). No statistically significant difference was found between male and female students. Also, no significant differences were seen.

How to cite this article:
Hamissi J, Ramezani G H, Ghodousi A. Prevalence of dental caries among high school attendees in Qazvin, Iran.J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2008;26:53-55

How to cite this URL:
Hamissi J, Ramezani G H, Ghodousi A. Prevalence of dental caries among high school attendees in Qazvin, Iran. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2008 [cited 2021 Apr 15 ];26:53-55
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Children have been the target of oral health promotion policies for a long time in Iran. Although the etiological mechanisms of dental caries are well known, the early life events, which may contribute to the development of caries, are still poorly understood. In particular, there has been some discussion of early sociobiological factors [1],[2],[3],[4],[5] affecting dental caries later in life. Dental caries is a disease which afflicts humans of all ages and all areas of the world. Several studies have been carried out to assess the dental caries prevalence among children in different parts of the world. [7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12] A recent document has set out new oral health objectives for the year 2020. [13] These include paying special attention to high-risk groups. The current unequal distribution of caries in developed countries, where the highest percentage is reported demonstrates the need to identify such risk groups. [14]

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the prevalence of dental caries among 15- and 16-year-old high school students in the Qazvin Province, Iran.

 Materials and Methods

Eight different high schools in the industrial city of Alborz and Alvand in the Qazvin Province, Iran. The total of 780 childrens were randomly selected for participation in this study. The study population consisted of 315 (40.38%) boys and 465 (59.62%) girls. The protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. The participants and their parents were informed of the nature of the study and a consent form, approved by the Institutional Review Board, was signed by each participant's parent prior to the study. The clinical examination was performed in the schools where the students were enrolled.

Clinical examinations

Two previously trained and standardized examiners (J.H., and G.H.R) performed the dental examinations and a trained assistant recorded the observations. The clinical examinations were performed in the schools, with the child sitting on a chair, facing away from the examiner and reclining to rest her or his head on a cushion placed on the examiner's lap. Cotton rolls were used to clean the teeth and to control saliva. A portable 60 W white-blue spectrum lamp was used as the source of illumination. Not more than 25 children were examined during one session to avoid the effects of visual fatigue. The instruments used for the dental examination were a WHO-type periodontal probe and a No. 5 plane mouth mirrors. Each examination team was provided with 35 sets of sterilized probes and mirrors, with each set in a sealed bag, and placed in a portable plastic container. [15] The field work was carried out during 2004-2005.

Lesions were recorded as 'present' when a carious cavity was apparent on visual inspection. The DMFT score for each child was calculated, and teeth lost as a result of trauma or exfoliations were excluded from the calculation. A tooth was considered 'missing' if there was a history of extraction because of pain and/or the presence of a cavity prior to extraction. Data collection was according to the guidelines of the British Association of the Study of Community Dentistry. [16]


For dental caries, the criteria established by WHO [17],[18],[19] were employed for the diagnosis and coding of all the teeth examined.

Statistical analysis

Data was entered using the Epi Info computer program after which it was transferred to the SPSS, version 13, program for analysis. Univariate analyses were performed by use of chi-square statistics and the t-test.


A total of 780 patients (465 girls and 315 boys) aged 15-16 years were examined. The mean DMFT among 15-year-old children was 2.66 and 24.5% of the subjects were found to be caries free. The mean DMFT for all ages was 2.71 ( 0.86).

Analysis of the DMFT showed that the mean D value was 2.23 ( 0.9), the mean M value was 0.23 ( 0.086), and the mean F value was 0.25 ( 0.07), indicating that the D (decay) component was the major constituent of the DMFT index [Table 1].

Male students had a higher mean DMFT value (2.88 0.61) than the female students (2.54 0.71) but the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant ( P > 0.05) [Figure 1]. The mean value of the decay (D) component of the DMFT was the highest for both males and females (2.42 and 2.04, respectively) and the difference between the two groups was found to be statistically significant ( P [20]

The lack of basic epidemiological information about dental caries among adolescents constitutes a serious limitation due to two main reasons. Firstly, to maintain adequate surveillance of dental caries it is important to know its behavior in all age-groups. Secondly, with the decline of dental caries in several countries, including Iran, the chances of extending oral health care to other groups of the population, such as adolescents and young adults, has increased significantly.

The results demonstrate that the socioeconomic condition, oral hygiene habits, and cariogenic diet exert effects on the dental caries situation in child population of the region. In our study population, only 24.5% of people were caries free, but in different parts of England [21] the mean DMFT values for 15-year-old continuous residents was reported as 1.7 in Hartlepool, 2.5 in Newcastle, and 3.3 in Middlesbrough. Forty percent of Hartlepool's 15-year-olds were caries free, compared with 30% in Newcastle and 24% in Middlesbrough.

Almerich reported that 15-16 years (DMFT = 1.84) in permanent dentition. [22] The majority of studies to date have reported a prevalence of DMFT in the higher socioeconomic levels as being similar to that in Swedish [23] children. In both Denmark [24] and the UK, [25] children from different ethnic groups present higher levels of caries than is seen in the the native population. In The Hague (Netherlands), a study has described higher caries prevalence among low-social-class children of Turkish and Moroccan origin when compared with Dutch children from the same social class. [26]

The results of the present study showed that the dental caries prevalence was high among school children in Qazvin province. This indicates that there are still shortcomings in the areas of both preventive and curative dental care. More oral health education programs must be deployed in an attempt to control oral diseases and school-based approaches should be combined with family- and community-directed preventive programs. Also, the large number of untreated caries in these children requires immediate attention. The information obtained from this study could be used to determine the most appropriate measures to be undertaken and to estimate the resources and logistic requirements necessary for addressing the current situation.


The results of this study indicates that the increasing prevalence of dental caries in Qazvin province; it highlights the need for a dental health programme to target this specific segment of the population through systematic public and school oral health promotion programmes. Parents could also benefit from oral health education and should be advised regarding the necessity of regular dental follow-ups with dietary instructions to maintain good oral hygiene.


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