Dental Health: Current ResearchISSN: 2470-0886

Dental Caries and Treatment Needs in Adolescents Aged 15 to 19 Years Old and their Relationship with Dental Services: A Systematic Review

Objective: To systematically review the prevalence and the need for treatment of dental caries in adolescents. Materials and methods: References consulted: Cochrane Library, PubMed, Embase, SCOPUS, Web of Science, BVS-BIREME and Google scholar, in the period between July 2016 and September 2016. Titles and abstracts were evaluated according to criteria of inclusion and exclusion. The selected manuscripts had their methodological quality evaluated.

Results: From a total of 877 studies, 11 articles were included in the review after the application of the methodological filters. The cross-sectional study was the most used design in the articles. Brazil stands out as the country with more published studies on this subject. The prevalence ranged from 59% to 90.4%, whereas the DMFT index ranged from 1.4 to 7.1. Most of the studies presented differences between genders and locations. The need for caries treatment varied from 42.3% to 62.3%. Locations committed to the use of preventive measures in oral health presented better indicators or decreased chance of individuals having an untreated caries.

Conclusion: There is an evident and wide range in the average prevalence of caries among adolescents, although DMFT index averages have been declining over the past few years. Well-organized dental services guided by the preventive values of Evidence-Based Dentistry seem to contribute to reduce the damages caused to adolescents in their oral health and their subjective experiences of life.

Clinical Relevance: The Access to dental services proved to be important for the control of caries, with preventive actions or clinical repair of the damages.

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