Purpose: To determine the clinical consequences of untreated dental caries among preschool children by using the pufa index (visible pulp, ulceration of the oral mucosa due to root fragments, a fistula or an abscess) and the incorporation of some risk factors.
Materials and Methods: Data were collected via structured, pre-tested questionnaires from 729 parents in Turkeys capital, Ankara. Examinations were performed under field conditions by one examiner. The decayed teeth were scored according to the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS) II criteria. The filled and missing teeth and surfaces were also recorded as dmft and dmfs, and the pufa index was used for the consequences of untreated caries. The associations were evaluated by univariate analysis and logistic regression.
Results: The means age of the study population was 58.8 ± 8.6 months. 45% of the children were female and 55% were male. Mean dmft and dmfs were 4.8 ± 4.7 and 8.3 ± 10.2, respectively. 73.8% of the children had early childhood caries (ECC), while 51.0% had severe cases. Only 58 children (8.0%) had totally healthy primary teeth according to ICDAS II. Of the children with caries (n = 538), 17.5% had at least one pufa tooth. According to the logistic regression analysis, sex, having at least one sibling, extraction experience, and fathers educational level were found to be the factors associated with the existence of pufa.
Conclusion: Healthcare providers attention must be drawn to both untreated carious lesions and the high ECC proportion among preschool children.