Impact of untreated dental caries on school attendance among The preschool children

Snehal Patil., Siddhi Hathiwala., Deepak Kumar Singhal., Samuel Raj Srinivasan., Sachin Khatri and Arun Singh Thakur

Introduction -Optimum oral health is required to eat, socialize without discomfort or embarrassment.
Studies have observed that more than 60-70% of children are affected by dental caries. Untreated
dental caries – most common problems faced by the population in developing countries leading to
frequent school absences affecting the development of the child.
Material and Methods – it was a Cross sectional study conducted among 3-5 years old preschoolers.
Ethical approval was obtained prior to start of the study from IEC. Sample size was 260. To measure
dental caries – dmf and pufa index was used. Descriptive statistics, Pufa ratio and Pearson correlation
was analysed using SPSS ver 16.0.
Results -Prevalence of dental caries was 32% and pufa was 24%. Pufa ratio was calculated to 34%.
Moderate to strong Correlation was found between pufa and school days lost.
Discussion and Conclusion - On analysis moderate to strong correlation was observed between the
untreated dental caries and loss of school days among the study participants. Proportion of untreated
dental caries was high which points to the need for diverting attention to care of deciduous dentition.
Similarly the impact of untreated caries reverberated as missed learning opportunities can be an
advocacy talking point for the policy lawmakers and legislators.

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