Title: Dental health and caries topography in 8-year-old German and immigrant children
Abstract: Aim The aim of this study was to compare the caries and sealant prevalence as well as the caries pattern in first permanent molars in 8-year-old German and immigrant children. Methods Dental examinations were carried out in 8-year-old German (n = 360) and immigrant children (n = 90) living in the Westphalian Ennepe-Ruhr district. A crosssection design was used respecting rural and urban schools as well as socially deprived areas. The surface related caries index (D3-4MFS) of the WHO was used prior to extending a preventive program by the public health service. Results 37% of the 8-year-old German children had a caries free mixed dentition. The mean caries prevalence was 6.5 d3-4mfs/0.6 D3-4MFS. On the occlusal surface of first molars a mean number of 0.7 D1-2Soccl was registered. With mean numbers of 12 d3-4mfs, 1.1 D3-4MFS and 1.3 D1-2Soccl immigrant children had a significantly poorer oral health than their German classmates (Wilcoxon rank sum test < 0.05). In immigrant children 0.7 sealants were recorded compared to 1.0 sealants in Germans. Approximately 80% of all carious surfaces were concentrated in 20% of the immigrant and in 8% of the German children, respectively. Pits and fissures of the first permanent molars were most affected in both populations. This raises the demand for an increasing use of sealants. Conclusion Dental health was significantly inferior in 8-year-old immigrants compared with their German classmates. Furthermore, the results of this study suggest the need to focus any dental health program of the Ennepe-Ruhr district on oral health education and topical fluoride application in children from immigrant families.