Aim: To assess caries prevalence among 6- to 9-year-old female children in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and compare between results based on nationality and age levels.

Materials and methods: A total of 17,891 female students from 120 public female elementary schools in Riyadh city were examined according to the World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic criteria. The decayed [dt], missing due to caries [mt], and filled [ft] primary teeth (dmft) index and its components were measured. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Student’s t-test, and Chi-squared test were used to determine the significance differences, at α = 0.05.

Results: The overall mean [dt] for all children was 3.89 [standard deviation (SD) 3.38], which increased to 5.0 (SD 3.02) when excluding children without active caries. The mean dmft was 5.69 (SD 4.0). However, excluding children with dmft = 0, the mean dmft was raised to 6.41 (SD 3.65). The caries prevalence was 88.82%. The non-Saudi children showed slightly higher values compared with Saudi children. However, statistically, there were only significant differences in values of [dt] mean, dt = 0, and [ft] mean (p < 0.05). The dmft index was higher for 7- to 8-year-old group (5.81, SD 3.98) followed by the 8- to 9-year-old group (5.79, SD 3.79) and the 6- to 7-yearold group (5.47, SD 4.18). However, there were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) between 7- to 8-year-old and 8- to 9-year-old children. The 6- to 7-year-old children were statistically different from the 7- to 8 and 8- to 9-year-old children.

Conclusion: The dental caries prevalence among the study population was high, with the majority of children having untreated caries. This highlights the need for initiating deliberate community-based preventive measures for improvement in public health education and services provided.

Keywords: Caries prevalence, Cross-sectional survey, Dental caries, Dental health, Oral health, Schoolchildren.

How to cite this article: Alshiha SA, Alwayli HM, Hattan MA, Alfraih YK, Alamri AA, Aldossary MS. Prevalence of Dental Caries among Elementary School Girls in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Cross-sectional Survey. J Oral Health Comm Dent 2017;11(2):29-33.

Source of support: The study was funded by the Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Conflict of interest: None