Complete Indicator Report of Dental Disease: Untreated Decay in Children Age 6-9
DefinitionPercentage of 6-9-year-old children with untreated dental caries.
NumeratorNumber of 6-9-year-old children who participated in the school dental health survey with untreated dental caries.
DenominatorNumber of 6-9-year-old children who participated in the school dental health survey.
Why Is This Important?Dental caries (tooth decay) is one of the most common health problems in the United States. Among school-aged children, 45% have caries in their permanent teeth. Among adults, 94% show evidence of past or current dental caries. Untreated dental caries is an important indicator of adequate and timely access to dental care.
Healthy People Objective OH-2.2:Reduce the proportion of children aged 6 to 9 years with untreated dental decay in their primary and permanent teeth
U.S. Target: 25.9 percent
How Are We Doing?Of the first through third grade students screened in 2010, 13.4% participants reported that their child needed dental care during the past 12 months but could not get it.
How Do We Compare With U.S.?Of the first through third grade students screened in 2010, 17.0% had obvious untreated decay and 1.9% of the children had urgent dental needs. Those findings are comparable to those found in other states.
What Is Being Done?Some Utah Department of Health activities addressing access to dental care include:
- Currently enrolled for Medicaid dental benefits are over 160,000 children from birth through 18 years of age.
- Currently Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrolls over 38,000 childen eligible for basic dental services.
- The Utah Oral Health Initiative facilitates the formation of local oral health coalitions to improve access to dental care.
Available ServicesAs of October 2011, Medicaid includes basic dental care for children. There is no coverage for adults. For information call 1-800-662-9651.
CHIP includes preventive and restorative services for children. For more information call 1-877-KIDS-NOW.
There are a few dental clinics that provide services on a sliding scale fee or at a reduced rate. Also dental hygiene schools throughout the state offer preventive services including prophylaxis, sealants, and fluoride treatments. For more information on these clinics, contact the local health department or the Oral Health Program at 801-538-9177 or http://health.utah.gov/oralhealth.
Relevant Population CharacteristicsDental disease affects children from poor families five times as much as children from higher income families. Minority ethnic populations have a higher incidence of caries experience and untreated caries but a lower rate of sealant placement.
Related Relevant Population Characteristics Indicator Reports:
Health Care System FactorsPrivate dental insurance has improved access to dental care for many people. Medicaid and CHIP serve low income children; however, access remains a barrier to treatment. Individuals without dental insurance coverage have more untreated decay and were twice as likely to report that they could not access needed dental treatment during the past year.
Risk FactorsCurrently, only 52% of Utahns are drinking optimum fluoridated water. Other risk factors include eating habits, such as frequent snacking and pop consumption, not brushing/flossing regularly, and not visiting the dentist regularly.
Health Status OutcomesOral disease has been linked to several other chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Periodontal disease in pregnant women has also been linked to preterm, low birth weight babies.
Related Health Status Outcomes Indicator Reports:
Graphical Data Views
More Resources and LinksEvidence-based community health improvement ideas and interventions may be found at the following sites:
Additional indicator data by state and county may be found on these Websites:
Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.
For an on-line medical dictionary, click on this Dictionary link.
Page Content Updated On 10/03/2011, Published on 02/06/2012