Title: 0086 - Passive Versus Active Intervention in a Remote Indigenous Community


Jeroen Kroon (Presenter)
Griffith University

Ratilal Lalloo, The University of Queensland
Ohnmar Tut, Griffith University
Santosh Tadakamadla, Griffith University
Sanjeewa Kularatna, Queensland University of Technology
Newell Johnson, Griffith University


Objectives: Determine prevalence and severity of dental caries in school-going children of a remote Indigenous community following 6 years passive and 2 years active prevention.

Methods: Children from preparatory, primary and secondary schools were surveyed in 2004, one year before Community Water Fluoridation (CWF), in 2012 following 6 years of, and 1 year post, cessation of CWF, a further 3 years post-cessation in 2015 and in 2016 and 2017 following 1 and 2 years active prevention (NHMRC APP1081320). The latter consisted of annual application of fissure sealant, povidone-iodine and fluoride varnish. 2004 and 2012 surveys used WHO Basic methodology: the 2015-17 surveys ICDAS-II.

Results: Age-weighted overall caries severity, dmft/DMFT, declined 2004 to 2012 for children aged 4-15 by 37.9% in deciduous (DD) and 36.6% in permanent (PD) dentitions, attributable to CWF. Between 2012 and 2015 an increase of 23.6% and 7.7%, respectively, were found. Age-weighted prevalence (dmft>0; DMFT>0) decreased from 2004 to 2012 by 4.2% and 6.4% respectively for the DD and PD and by a further 1.3% and 0.5% respectively, 2012 to 2015. After 2 years of active prevention, caries severity for the experimental group decreased by 13.7% in DD and 26.6% in PD. Caries prevalence decreased by 4.9% and 3.8% respectively for the DD and PD during this time.

Conclusions: Decline in caries prevalence and severity after introduction of CWF was followed by an increase in severity, 4 years after cessation, for both dentitions. Mean annual decline in caries severity for both dentitions for the 2 years of active prevention exceeded that for passive prevention. Nevertheless, untreated caries remains a problem in both dentitions during both passive and of active intervention. Due to remoteness, cost and logistics in ensuring long-term viability of an active preventive program, CWF remains necessary in this type of community.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:
Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council, Project Grant 1081320

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE