J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2020 Dec;44(4):234-239. 10.11149/jkaoh.2020.44.4.234.

Preventive effect of a 18-year water fluoridation program for dental caries in a rural area of Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive & Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Korea
  • 2Department of BK21 FOUR Project, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Korea

Abstract


Objectives
The water fluoridation program in Hapcheon township area has been implemented since 2000. This study aimed to evaluate the caries-preventive effect of water fluoridation on permanent teeth after implementation of an 18-year community water fluoridation program in a suburban area.
Methods
A survey was conducted in 2018 with 359 subjects, aged 8, 10, and 12 years, residing in the Hapcheon township area. In this prospective cohort study, the data on caries prevalence obtained from 671 subjects, aged 8, 10, and 12 years, in 2000, when the community water fluoridation program was initiated in the township, were used as a cohort to evaluate the caries-preventive effect after 18 years. The caries-preventive effect of community water fluoridation on permanent teeth was estimated by comparison of the adjusted DMFT scores between the program and the control group, and between the pre- and post-program data after 18 years. The confounding factor, mean number of fissure-sealed teeth, was adjusted to estimate the caries-preventive effect of fluoridation on permanent teeth.
Results
Based on the results of the surveys conducted in Hapcheon-eup in 2000 and 2018, the mean number of fissure-sealed permanent teeth was 2.24 in 2000 and 1.38 in 2018. The mean DMFT scores of subjects aged 8, 10, and 12 years in 2018, adjusted for fissure-sealed permanent teeth in the fluoridated area, were significantly lower than those reported by the 2018 Korea National Children’s Oral Health Survey. In addition, the mean values of the adjusted DMFT scores of subjects aged 8, 10, and 12 years in 2018, after the 18-year fluoridation program, were significantly lower than those reported in 2000, the year the fluoridation program was initiated.
Conclusions
Community water fluoridation has a high caries-reducing effect; thus, the reintroduction of water fluoridation program is desirable to prevent dental caries.

Keyword

Caries preventive effect; Community water fluoridation program; Dental caries; Hapcheon; Permanent teeth
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