J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2016 Jun;40(2):126-132. 10.11149/jkaoh.2016.40.2.126.

Pattern of dental caries in Korean adolescents with a high risk of caries

  • 1Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea. smagn@wonkwang.ac.kr


The purpose of this study was to analyze the pattern of dental caries in a high-risk group of Korean adolescents.
Raw data on 10,542 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 years from the 2012 Korean National Oral Health Survey was used. The subjects were divided into a high caries risk group and non-high caries risk group for analysis. For the statistical analyses, we utilized a frequency analysis, descriptive statistics, and a multidimensional scaling analysis.
The pattern of dental caries in the high caries risk group were divided into six classifications for 12-year-olds and five for 15-year-olds, including the mandibular first molar occlusal surface (Cluster 1). In the high caries risk group, the frequency of Cluster 1 was approximately 4-times higher in 12-year-olds than that in the non-high caries risk group of Cluster 1, and about 3-times higher in 15-year-olds. The multidimensional scaling analysis found that in the high caries risk group, the same types of tooth surfaces formed separate groups. The prevalent dental caries pattern of 12-year-olds in the high caries risk group was left-right symmetry, while in the 15-year-olds of the high caries risk group, the caries pattern also included the antagonistic teeth, along with left-right symmetry. However, the non-high caries risk group had a pattern of left-right symmetry only in the 15-year-olds.
When dental caries occur in the first molar, there is a high possibility of being classified into the high caries risk group. Therefore, preventative measures should focus on the antagonistic teeth and the teeth on the opposite side.


Adolescent; Cluster; Dental caries; Pattern; Permanent dentition
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