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Changes in dental caries 1953-2003.

Caries Research

Social Class, Sampling Studies, Prevalence, Humans, epidemiology, Europe, Developed Countries, Dental Caries, DMF Index, Child, Adolescent

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      In the first half of the 20th century, indices and methods of conducting surveys of the level of dental diseases were developed. Modern epidemiological studies began in the fifties and many reliable studies have been conducted after 1960. In the following decades, a substantial decline of caries prevalence was documented in the majority of the highly industrialized countries, with reductions of lifetime caries experience exceeding 75%. The decline comes to an end when low or very low levels of prevalence are reached. Children of low socioeconomic status and immigrants from outside Western Europe, however, generally have higher disease levels and may cause increases in caries prevalence. For this and other reasons, caries epidemiology will remain an indispensable part of dental public health. Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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