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Complete Indicator Report of Dental Disease: Untreated Decay in Children Age 6-9


Percentage of 6-9-year-old children with untreated dental caries.


Number of 6-9-year-old children who participated in the school dental health survey with untreated dental caries.


Number of 6-9-year-old children who participated in the school dental health survey.

Why Is This Important?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says over 19% of children ages 2-19 have untreated cavities. Gender is not a significant factor in decay however, race and percent of poverty level are significant factors. 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 Utah in 2010, 17.0% had obvious untreated decay. In the U.S. 19% had 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:
- In 2012 the number enrolled for Medicaid dental benefits was 169,000 children from birth through 18 years of age.
- In 2012 the number enrolled in Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was 36,000 children 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 Services

As of October 2013, Medicaid includes basic dental care for children and pregnant women. There is only emergency coverage for all other 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. For more information on these clinics, contact your local health department or the State Oral Health Program at (801) 538-9177, or visit

Dental Hygiene Schools throughout the state of Utah offer preventive services including sealants and fluoride treatments. Dental Schools also offer treatment services in addition. Contact the UDOH Oral Health Program at (801) 538-9177, or visit for more information.

Related Indicators

Relevant Population Characteristics

Dental 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 Indicators:

Health Care System Factors

Private 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.

Related Health Care System Factors Indicators:

Risk Factors

Currently, 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.

Related Risk Factors Indicators:

Health Status Outcomes

Oral 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 Indicators:

Graphical Data Views

Percentage of 6-9 Year Old Children With Untreated Dental Caries Utah, 2000, 2005, and 2010

::chart - missing::
confidence limits

Year Percentage of Children Lower Limit Upper Limit
Record Count: 4
2000 22.1% 19.9% 24.3%
2005 21.4% 18.9% 23.9%
2010 17.0% 15.4% 18.7%

Data Notes

2000 and 2005 data is for ages 6 to 8 years.

Data Sources

Utah Oral Health Survey, Utah Department of Health.

Untreated Caries in Utah Children Age 6-9 by Local Health District, Utah, 2000, 2005, and 2010

::chart - missing::
confidence limits

Consecutive Calendar Years 1980-2020 Local Health District Percentage of Children Lower Limit Upper Limit
Record Count: 37
2000 Bear River 11.8%
2000 Central 18.6%
2000 Davis County 20.7%
2000 Salt Lake County 24.1%
2000 Southeastern 20.0%
2000 Southwest 31.0%
2000 Summit 20.0%
2000 Tooele 35.7%
2000 TriCounty 36.7%
2000 Utah County 20.7%
2000 Wasatch 28.6%
2000 Weber-Morgan 16.0%
2000 State 22.1%
2005 Bear River 29.5% 18.3% 40.7%
2005 Central 37.0% 20.3% 53.8%
2005 Salt Lake County 17.9% 14.2% 21.6%
2005 Southeastern 27.6% 8.8% 46.4%
2005 Southwest 21.1% 11.1% 31.1%
2005 Summit 26.9% 0.4% 53.4%
2005 Tooele 37.9% 17.5% 58.3%
2005 TriCounty 50.0% 28.4% 71.6%
2005 Utah County 16.5% 11.6% 21.4%
2005 Weber-Morgan 24.4% 16.0% 32.8%
2005 State 21.4% 18.9% 24.0%
2010 State 17.0% 15.4% 18.7%

Data Notes

Davis County did not participate in the 2005 survey.
The 2010 survey did not include local health district data.
The local health district data for 2005 has broad 95% confidence level ranges.

Data Sources

Utah Oral Health Survey, Utah Department of Health.

More Resources and Links

Evidence-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 10/29/2013, Published on 10/29/2013
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Tue, 23 September 2014 14:20:50 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:09:23 MST