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


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


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


Number of 6-to 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 about 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. 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 fourth grade students screened in 2015, 4.4% of participants reported that their child needed dental care during the past 12 months but could not get it.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Of the first through fourth grade students screened in Utah in 2015, 19.1% had obvious untreated decay. In comparison the CDC says the percent of children aged 5-19 years with untreated dental caries was 18.6% (2011-2014).

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 September 2019, Medicaid includes basic dental care for children, pregnant women, and blind and disabled adults. There is only emergency coverage for all other adults which includes a limited evaluation, x-rays, and removal of the tooth. For information call 801-538-6155, or 1-800-662-9651 or visit []. CHIP includes preventive and restorative services for children. For more information call 1-877-KIDS-NOW or visit []. There are a few dental clinics that provide services on a sliding fee scale or at a reduced rate. For more information on these clinics, contact your local health department or the State Oral Health Program at (801) 273-2995, or visit the [ Oral Health Program - Find a Dentist] website. 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) 273-2995, or visit the [ Oral Health Program] website for more information. [ Link for Healthy People 2020 for Oral Health]

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.

Related Health Status Outcomes Indicators:

Graphical Data Views

Percentage of 6- to 9-year-old Children With Untreated Dental Caries, Utah, 2000-2015

::chart - missing::
confidence limits

YearPercentage of Children Aged 6-9Lower LimitUpper Limit
Record Count: 4

Data Notes

Next survey planned for 2020.   2000 and 2005 data are for ages 6 to 8 years.

Data Source

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.

Page Content Updated On 09/30/2019, Published on 10/09/2019
The information provided above is from the 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, 01 December 2020 23:52:54 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 9 Oct 2019 09:35:27 MDT