Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the caries experience and oral health related quality of life of 12-year olds on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. In addition, any difference in the dental caries experience was explored by gender and socio-economic status.
Subjects and Method: A total of forty- six 12-year olds were living on the island at the time of the study and 32 (69%) participated in the survey. Caries experience was recorded using the decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) index by a trained and calibrated examiner according to the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD) criteria. The Care Index was used to describe the level of dental care. The Child Perception Questionnaire was used to investigate the impact of oral health conditions on oral health-related quality of life. Statistical software Dental Survey Plus and SPSS were used to analyse data.
Results: The findings of this study showed that the 12-year olds had a mean DMFT of 1.91 and 59% had active untreated caries with an overall Care Index of 16%. While the perception of oral symptoms was low, over a third of children reported a functional impact as a result of their oral condition.
Conclusion: It is concluded that there is a need for improved delivery of restorative care coupled with oral health promotion and dental health education.