Trends in the prevalence of untreated dental caries among children (2–4 and 6–8 years old), adolescents (12–15 years old), and adults (35–44 years old): Overall, the proportion of children with untreated dental caries in the primary and permanent dentition has declined since the 1970s for all age, gender, race, and poverty level subgroups although differences among these groups remain (Brown et al., 1999; Brown et al., 2000).
There have been continuing reductions in dental caries in permanent teeth among children and adolescents over the past few decades, yet caries prevalence in the primary dentition may have stabilized or increased slightly in some population groups (Petersson & Bratthall 1996; Rozier, 1995). Trends are displayed separately for primary and permanent dentitions.
The prevalence of untreated caries in primary dentition decreased from 48.7% in the 1970s to 26.5% in the 1990s among children aged 6–8 years. The prevalence of untreated dental caries in permanent dentition also decreased from NHANES I (1971–1975) to NHANES III (1988–1994) for ages 6–8 years (21.0 % to 6.3%), 12–15 years (53.2% to 16.9%), and 35–44 years (40.3% to 26.1%).
SOURCES OF DATA
Analyses reported here are based on the First and Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES I: 1971–1975 and NHANES III: 1988–1994), National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.