Sunday, February 13, 2005

Oral Health in South Africa

South Africa is a newly remade country. Apartheid ended in 1994 and education has been extended to all residents.

Here is an abstract of a paper on Oral Health in South Africa:

This study describes the oral health status of the inhabitants of, and reflects on possible trends in oral diseases in South Africa. During the past 20 years, three national oral health surveys were conducted in South Africa, the most recent, a national Children's Oral Health Survey, was conducted between 1999 and 2002. The results of this study show that 39.7% of the 6-year-old children were caries free, which is below the goal of 50% set by the Department of Health (DoH) for the year 2000. The DMFT of 1.1 for the 12-year-old group, however, was below the 1.5 set by the DoH for this group for the year 2000. Based on the Unmet Treatment Need Index more than 80% of caries in children is not treated. The greatest need for the treatment of dental caries in South African children was for preventive services, restorations and extractions. The DMFT for the 12 year-old-group in South Africa decreased from 2.5 in 1982 to 1.1 for the current survey. Of the same group, 20.2% of the children presented with definite signs of dental fluorosis. The Dental Aesthetic Index was used to assess the prevalence of malocclusion and 32.3% of 12-year-old children needed definitive orthodontic treatment. The results of national surveys showed a reduction in dental caries severity of the permanent dentition of 12-year-old South African children.

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