Comparison of dmft and Behavior Rating Scores Between Children with Systemic Disease and Healthy Children at the First Dental Visit

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BioMed Central

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BMC Oral Health

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DOI: 10.1186/s12903-024-04285-8


Purpose: To evaluate and compare oral health and behavior scores at the first dental visit and dental treatment need using general anesthesia/sedation (GA/S) of children with systemic diseases (SD) and healthy children.

Methods: Data were obtained from healthy children (n = 87) and children with SD (n = 79), aged 4 to 6 years, presenting to a hospital dental clinic for a first dental examination. The total number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft), dental behavior score using Frankl Scale, and dental treatment need using GA/S were recorded. Chi-square / Fisher’s exact test and Mann–Whitney U tests were used for statistical analyses.

Results: The patients with SD were diagnosed with cardiac disease (61%), renal disease (9%), and pediatric cancers (30%). The median dmft values of the SD group (3.00) were significantly lower than those of healthy children (5.00) (p = 0.02) and healthy children exhibited significantly more positive behavior (90.8%) than children with SD (73.4%) (p = 0.002). The number of patients needing GA/S for dental treatment did not differ significantly between the two groups (p = 0.185). There was no relationship between dental treatment need with GA/S and dental behavior scores of the patients (p = 0.05). A statistically significant relationship was found between the patients’ dmft scores and the need for dental treatment using GA/S; and the cut-off value was found to be dmft > 4 for the overall comparisons.

Conclusion: The presence of chronic disease in children appeared to affect the cooperation negatively at the first dental visit compared to healthy controls, however, it did not affect the oral health negatively. Having a negative behavior score or SD did not necessitate the use of GA/S for dental treatment.


BMC Oral Health, Vol. 24 (2024). DOI.