AbstractThe aim of this cross-sectional study was to verify the importance of including initial carious lesions (IL) in the oral health planning of a public health service. The sample comprised 692 schoolchildren at the ages of 5 (n=171), 6 (n=203), 12 (n=236) and 15 (n=82), enrolled in state schools in Iracemapolis, SP, Brazil. Clinical examination was performed, using dental mirror and CPI (Community Periodontal Index) probe, after tooth brushing and drying. Two diagnostic thresholds were used for measuring the outcome: diagnostic threshold based on cavitated lesions and diagnostic threshold based on the inclusion of IL. The mean value for dmft was 1.56 for 5-year-olds and 1.98 for 6-yearolds. The mean value for DMFT was 1.19 for the age of 12 and 2.90 for the age of 15. The dmft and DMFT indexes increased significantly for all ages (paired t test, p<0.05) when IL was included in the examinations (29.59%, 12.25%, 21.71%, 26.82% for the ages of 5, 6, 12 and 15, respectively). The inclusion of IL in surveys generated a statistically significant percent increase in caries indexes for all age groups, contributing to obtain additional information for oral health planning in public services.
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