Neuroanatomical interconnections and neurophysiological relationships between the orofacial area and the cervical spine have been documented earlier. The present single-blind study was aimed at screening possible correlations between clinical signs of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and cervical spine disorders. Thirty-one consecutive patients with symptoms of TMD and 30 controls underwent a standardised clinical examination of the masticatory system, evaluating range of motion of the mandible, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) function and pain of the TMJ and masticatory muscles. Afterwards subjects were referred for clinical examination of the cervical spine, evaluating segmental limitations, tender points upon palpation of the muscles, hyperalgesia and hypermobility. The results indicated that segmental limitations (especially at the C0–C3 levels) and tender points (especially in the m. sternocleidomastoideus and m. trapezius) are significantly more present in patients than in controls. Hyperalgesia was present only in the patient group (12–16%).
Most studies on facial trauma in the pediatric age group focus on special subgroups. This investigation encompasses all traumatic facial injuries, minor and major, of children and adolescents. Epidemiological data of the type and pattern of injury of trauma patients less than 19 years of age, treated during a 3-year-period in a large metropolitan trauma centre were reevaluated. Of the 1385 patients, 68% had soft tissue injuries, 24% had dental trauma, and 8% fractures of facial bones. More than 90% suffered from minimal or minor trauma. The leading cause of injury was a fall, predominantly at the toddler stage. In adolescents an adult mechanism of trauma prevailed: over 60% of injuries were sequelae of an assault or altercation. The male sex predominated through all age groups and for all types of injuries. The bulk of soft tissue injuries are located within a small falling zone, extending from the nose to the mental area. There was a rising incidence of fractures of facial bones towards older age groups, mandibular fractures being the most common. Condylar fractures, with their potential impact on further growth of the mandible, are seen frequently in children and adolescents, making up 80% of the fractures of the lower jaw.
The aim of this three-phase prospective study was to determine the effects of a primary-primary prevention program on the oral health of children. Eighty-six pregnant women from various social backgrounds participated in the first phase of this study. In the second phase (at 3 years of age) 54 of the mother–child couples and in the third phase (at 4 years of age) 47 of the mother–child couples remained. Participants were recalled every 6 months and received individual prophylactic care. The following clinical parameters were assessed at each examination period for mother and child: DMF-S or dmf-s, proximal plaque index, and the salivary level of Streptococcus mutans (Dentocult SM). The control group consisted of 65 (at 3 years of age) and 45 (at 4 years of age) children from various kindergartens. All children in the second phase of the study group revealed a naturally healthy dentition with an API of 0–25% and a salivary S. mutans score of 0 (0–103 cfu/ml). In the third phase, only four of the 47 children of the study group showed caries, with a mean dmf-s of 1.5. No S. mutans could be detected in 20 (42.6%) children. Ten (21.3%) children of the study group showed a S. mutans score of ≥2 (>105 cfu/ml). In contrast, only 53 of the 65 children of the control group (second phase) and 26 of the 45 control children (third phase) revealed a naturally healthy dentition. The remaining 19 children of the control group revealed a mean dmf-s of 7.0 at 4 years of age. In the control group, no S. mutans could be detected in 25 (38.5%) children at 3 years of age whereas 21 (32.3%) children showed a S. mutans score of ≥2. In the third phase, a salivary S. mutans score of ≥2 was found in 27 (60%) children of the control group. The statistical comparison between the study and the control groups revealed significant differences for all results determined (P<0.001). Additionally, all mothers revealed a significant improvement in oral health and a reduction of salivary S. mutans colonization. From our data we conclude that a pre- and postnatal prevention program (primary-primary vs primary prevention) may significantly improve the oral health of mother and child.
This study retrospectively evaluated the clinical performance of 287 all-ceramic restorations placed during routine patient care in the University setting in the past 7 years. All patients (n = 106) with ceramic inlays or partial ceramic crowns (PCC), placed during 1988–1994 (n = 327) by five experienced dentists were asked to take part in a clinical investigation, and 92 patients with 287 restorations (232 inlays, 55 PCC) agreed to do so. The following ceramics were used: 44 (15.3%) Dicor (Dentsply), 126 (43.9%) IPS-Empress (Ivoclar), 82 (28.7%) Mirage II, 33 (11.5%) Cerec-Vita-Mark I (Vita), and 2 (0.7%) Duceram LFC (Ducera) restorations. The restorations were placed using the following luting composites: 73 (25.4%) Dual Cure Luting Cement (Optec), 81 (28.3%) Variolink high viscosity (Ivoclar), 32 (11.1%) Microfill Pontic C (Kulzer), 51 (17.8%) Dual Zement (Ivoclar), 40 (13.9%) Dicor Light Activated Cement (Dentsply), and 10 (3.5%) Vita Cerec Duo Cement (Vita). Restorations were evaluated according to the modified USPHS criteria. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to calculate the probability of survival. Of the 287 restorations 270 (94.2%) were still in function without any need of intervention. Fourteen restorations (4.8%) had failed before starting the clinical investigation, and in three a fracture was found during the investigation. These 17 failed restorations consisted of 14 PCC and 3 ceramic inlays. The results of the clinical investigation revealed 59.2% Alpha-ratings for marginal adaptation. Only one restored tooth showed recurrent caries. The probability of survival (95% confidence interval) for 7 years was 98% (97.99–98.01%) for ceramic inlays and 56% (46–66%) for PCC. Our findings show that ceramic inlays can be regarded as an acceptable alternative to cast gold restorations within the methodological limitations of the present study. For PCC further experience with more recent ceramics is warranted.
The invention of rotary instruments not only improved the speed of caries removal but also the destruction of sound tooth substance. Hence, as early as the 1950s, there were attempts to develop a less invasive technique, such as the air-abrasive and ultrasonic techniques, for the purpose of caries removal. The proposed use of air-polishing was published in the early 1980s. Subsequent better understanding of the carious process saw the introduction of the enzyme technique in the late 1980s. Other techniques, such as chemomechanical caries removal and laser systems, have also been attempted and researched during the last four decades to minimise the unnecessary removal of sound tooth substance, although these and other techniques reviewed in this article have not yet superseded the use of rotary instruments. Furthermore, the concept of micro-cavity preparation developed in recent years and the introduction of acid-etch techniques, resin bonding and the use of glass-ionomer cements have also revolutionised the principles of cavity preparation in conservative dentistry. This article reviews the development of these various caries removal techniques and instrumentation and the evolutionary philosophies of cavity preparation promulgated over the last century or so.
Stereognosis is the ability to recognise and discriminate forms. Oral stereognostic ability has been studied in different reports. The experimental design of the test is of primary importance as both the method used and the material applied may influence the results dramatically. The form, size and surface characteristics of the test piece, the presentation order, subject-related factors and the method of scoring all have their effect on the results. With regard to subject-related factors, ageing has a negative influence on stereognostic ability; gender is considered of no importance. Another influencing factor is dental status. A healthy natural dentition offers a very good oral stereognostic ability. Edentulous subjects usually show a decreased oral stereognostic ability, depending on the rehabilitation form. A number of questions have been addressed, especially with regard to the perception itself. Receptors mainly involved in oral stereognostic ability are located in various oral structures and form perception results from an association of more than one group of receptors. The following review tries to deal with these questions and attempts to provide clear guidelines for further research on oral stereognosis.
Within the framework of an on-going prospective clinical study begun in 1985, 120 adhesive-fixed partial dentures (AFPD) continued to be examined. The manufacture and the fitting of the AFPDs were carried out following a standard procedure. The preparation technique and the metal framework conditioning (silica-coating, sandblasting and electrochemical etching) has varied throughout the duration of the study. Using Kaplan-Meier analysis, the survival rate was determined and an analysis of risk with regard to location factors (anterior, posterior; maxilla, mandible), conditioning and preparation techniques (retentive/non-retentive) was determined using the Cox regression model. The location of the AFPD had no influence on the survival rate. The survival time was determined mainly by the preparation technique. Strict preparation of seating grooves and pin holes made a 95% survival rate possible after 10 years (Kaplan-Meier estimation). Without retention, the risk of failure increased by a factor of 3.7.
Overextension of filling material into the mandibular canal after root treatment in the lower jaw is a rare but serious complication. Mechanical compression, chemical neurotoxicity and local infection may cause irreversible nerve damage. A report on 11 patients with neurological complaints of the inferior alveolar nerve after endodontic treatment is summarised. The neurological findings are dominated by hypaesthesia and dysaesthesia. Half of the patients reported pain. Hyperaesthesia is found much more rarely. Nearly all the patients had a combination of one or more symptoms. Initial X-rays showed root filling material in the area of the mandibular canal. Nine cases were treated with apicectomy and decompression of the nerve; in two cases, extraction of the tooth was necessary. Only one patient reported persistent pain after surgery. If neurological complaints appear after root filling in the lower jaw, a nerve injury due to root filling material should be ruled out. In cases of overfilling, immediate apicectomy and decompression of the nerve with conservation of the tooth is often the treatment of choice; the tooth may be preserved and the best chance of avoiding permanent nerve damage is provided.
Various in vivo and in vitro investigations have indicated that tobacco smoking as well as the use of smokeless tobacco products may be important risk factors for the development and severity of inflammatory periodontal disease. The purpose of this study was to determine the cytotoxicity of nicotine by means of human primary oral fibroblast cultures and a permanent cell line. The cytotoxicity of nicotine was evaluated by determination of cell growth, cell membrane integrity, protein content, and alterations of the cytoskeleton. Furthermore, recovery following nicotine exposure was assessed by vital staining (trypan blue). Dose-dependent toxic effects of nicotine were measured within a range of 0.48 mM to 62 mM. Growth of fibroblasts was decreased by nicotine concentrations higher than 7.8 mM. Additionally, the protein content was significantly decreased and cell membranes were damaged. Morphological alterations of microtubules and vimentin filaments were observed at concentrations higher than 3.9 mM. Nicotine-exposed cells revealed atypical shapes and vacuoles. The toxic effects of nicotine became irreversible in the range between 10.5 and 15.5 mM, whereas at lower concentrations cells recovered after the withdrawal of nicotine. Our results confirm clinical oberservations regarding the important role of nicotine as a risk factor in the etiology and progression of periodontal disease.
The mutagenic activity of the root canal sealing cement, AHPlus, was tested in a bacterial gene mutation assay (Ames test). The material was mixed according to the manufacturer's instruction and tested immediately after mixing and after a setting time of 24 h at 37°C in a humidified chamber. The set material was powdered and both the freshly mixed and the powdered material were eluted in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and physiological saline (0.1 g/2 ml) for 24 h at 37°C. Aliquots of serially diluted eluates were then used in the standard plate incorporation assay. The Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA98 and TA100 were employed to detect the induction of frameshift mutations and base pair substitutions both in the presence and in the absence of a metabolically active microsomal fraction from rat liver (S9 fraction). No mutagenic and no toxic effects were found with physiological saline eluates of the freshly mixed material and of mixed material which was set for 24 h. However, DMSO eluates of the freshly mixed AHPlus were mutagenic in tester strain TA100 in a dose-related manner in the absence of S9. A four- to fivefold increase of the mutation frequencies was induced by 2.5 mg AHPlus per plate compared with the number of spontaneous mutants. The mutagenic effect was completely abolished in the presence of a metabolically active S9 fraction. Also, no mutagenic effects were observed with DMSO eluates of AHPlus set for 24 h. However, the set material was more toxic towards bacteria than the freshly mixed sealer. This difference was indicated by a tenfold lower amount of material necessary to cause complete absence of the background lawn in both S. typhimurium tester strains. Therefore, we conclude that at least two different compounds of AHPlus are biologically active in DMSO eluates to cause mutagenic and toxic effects in S. typhimurium TA100 and TA98.
The aim of this clinical study was to evaluate class V and class III cavities restored with a polyacid-modified resin composite (compomer) restorative material in association with two different dentin-enamel bonding systems: Dyract-PSA (Primer Sealer Adhesive-DentSply, Germany) and Prime&Bond 2.0 (DentSply, Germany). The control group was a hybrid composite used with ProBond bonding system (DentSply, Germany). A total of 116 restorations (79 class V, 37 class III) were made and reevaluated after 1, 2 and 3 years in 55 patients in two private practices and in a university department. Class V nonretentive cavities were located at the CEJ level and class III at interproximal level close to CEJ. Each cavity was prepared using a water-cooled, high-speed handpiece with a fine diamond burr. A small bevel was prepared along enamel margin. Cavity dimensions were no more than 3.5×3.5 mm (using burr as reference point). Each restoration was finished immediately with fine diamond burrs and Sof-Lex disks (3 M, USA). The criteria that were evaluated by the USPHS method included: retention, color match, marginal integrity, marginal discoloration, and secondary caries. Results indicated that all compomer restorations were fully retained at 3 years, and that no secondary caries detected. Seven composite restorations were lost during the 3-year study. No statistical differences were observed between class III and class V or among other conditions (e.g., upper-lower arc, sex, age). This study demonstrates that compomers are suitable restorative materials for class III–V restorations. They may represent a clinical alternative to composites in class V and III restorations.
Resin-modified glass ionomer cements (RMGIC) and polyacid-modified resin composites (PMC, compomers) are two recently introduced material groups supposed to replace traditional cements in operative dentistry. The new restoratives release initially fluoride in different relatively high concentrations, which decrease gradually during the first weeks in vivo. Earlier studies showed a stronger subclinical inflammatory reaction around different conventional tooth colored restorative materials than around intact enamel. The aim of this study was to compare intra-individually the initiation of gingival inflammation around, aged RMGIC, PMC and resin composite restorations. Subgingivally located Class III restorations were placed in 17 patients. Each patient received one of each of the experimental materials. All patients were placed on an oral hygiene regime 1-year after finishing of the restorations. Gingivitis was induced during a one-week period without oral hygiene. The gingival condition was assessed by sampling of gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), registration of the amount of bacterial plaque and by registration of bleeding after gentle probing of the entrance of the gingival sulcus (SBI) on the experimental filling- and control-enamel surfaces at days 0 and 7. No differences were seen in plaque and gingival index scores between the materials at both days. The GCF increased significantly for all surfaces during the experimental gingivitis period. At day 7 significantly lower GCF was sampled around the enamel surfaces. In conclusion, the differences between the materials did not result in measurable differences concerning clinical or subclinical signs of gingivitis.
Four three-dimensional numerical models of a fixed partial denture were constructed, analyzed, and compared by means of the finite element method. Each model consisted of three elements destined to compensate the loss of a first molar. The second proemolar and the second molar were used as abutments. The connector surface was varied and then tested. A unidirectional axial force was applied to the center of the occlusal surface of the pontic. For each model, we measured the strain undergone by the connectors that link the pontic to each abutment. Results show that the strain measured in the mesio–distal direction was much more significant than in any other direction. Strain originated on either side of the loading point, centrally located on the cervical side of the pontic. The 0.15% strain threshold, beyond which rupture is possible, was only reached in one model (connector surface = 3.3 mm2). Increasing both the height and the width of the connectors by 1 mm resulted in extending the surface by 3.3 to 7.95 mm2. Although the surface increased by 141%, the strain threshold was not reached. This first result indicates that extending the surface of the connectors, which is less consistent with periodontal clinical requirements, is not necessary to ensure resistance to rupture.
Previous investigations have found elevated levels of s-IgA in the parotid saliva and normal levels in submandibular saliva of patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS). Fox et al. also found elevated levels of cytokines (i.e., IL-2 and IL-6) in serum, salivary epithelial cells and parotid saliva of patients with SS. The oral administration of pilocarpine hydrochloride stimulates whole and parotid salivary flow. The purpose of this study was to determine the levels of s-IgA and IL-2 and IL-6 in whole saliva before and after administration of pilocarpine hydrochloride in SS subjects. Ten definitively diagnosed SS subjects were enrolled in the study, as were ten controls (C). The mean age was 57.2 years and all subjects were female. Whole unstimulated saliva (WUS) was collected by standard techniques for 5 min, after which the volume and flow rate were determined (mean WUS: SS = 0.047 vs C = 0.480 ml/min). Samples were centrifuged and the immunoglobulin analysis performed on the supernatants by immunoreactivity in a double-sandwich technique as previously described by Rudney et al. Cytokine analysis was performed similarly utilizing commercially available kits from R&D Systems. The results as analyzed by pairwise t-tests revealed comparable levels of s-IgA in the saliva of the SS patients, as compared to controls at baseline (means±SEM: SS-IgA = 348.1±82.0 vs C-IgA = 284.0±65.1 μg/ml; NS ). Whole salivary flow was significantly increased (328%) in the SS subject group 60 min after the administration of 5 mg pilocarpine hydrochloride (means±SEM: 0.0472±0.017 vs 0.1546±0.054 ml/min; P<0.01). There was no significant change in the concentration of s-IgA in the SS subject group following the pilocarpine dose (means±SEM: SS-IgA = 439.9±121.2 μl/ml; P = NS). There were elevated levels of IL-2 in the saliva of four out of the ten and IL-6 in two out of the ten SS patients, as compared to controls (means±SEM: SS-IL-2 = 127.8±11.4 vs C-IL-2 = 30.8±1.6 pg/ml and SS-IL-6 = 41.4±7.1 vs C-11.6 ± 2.8 pg/ml). There was also a significant decrease in the concentration of IL-2 in the same four out of ten SS subjects following the pilocarpine dose (means±SEM: SS-IL-2 = 32.4±10.3; P<0.01). These preliminary results indicate that s-IgA levels do not change with increased salivary flow following the administration of pilocarpine hydrochloride in patients with Sjögren's syndrome. While cytokines are elevated in the whole saliva of some SS patients, a decrease in IL-2 concentration may occur with increased salivary flow.
The few studies in which prevalence, technical quality, and success rates of root canal fillings performed in daily practice have been assessed demonstrated a high proportion of inappropriate root fillings and a great variety of periapical radiolucencies (25–60%). The aim of the present retrospective radiographic study was to determine if changes in prevalence, technical quality, and success of root canal fillings had occurred within a decade. To achieve this goal, orthopantomograms taken in patients who attended a University Dental Clinic for the first time in 1983 (group A) and in 1992 (group B) were evaluated by a calibrated examiner. The following criteria were applied to assess the root-filled teeth: length and homogeneity of the root fillings and the periapical state. The prevalence of root-filled teeth increased significantly from an average 0.5 per person in 1983 to 0.8 per person in 1992. The increase was proportionally greater in older patients. In group A, 55.2% of the root fillings ended 0–2 mm before the radiographic apex and in group B this percentage was 56.8. Insufficient homogeneity was found in 25.0% (group A) and 21.9% (group B) of the root fillings. The prevalence of root-filled teeth without periapical destructions was 76.1% (group A) and 74.1% (group B). It is concluded that, in the future, endodontic treatment need will increase because of the steadily growing number of older people. Further efforts in research and dental education should focus on the treatment of curved root canals.
The use of resin composites in the restoration of Class II cavities with gingival margins located in dentin is still controversial. The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the effect of four state-of-the-art multi-step dentin-bonding systems (A. R. T. Bond, Syntac, OptiBond DC, Scotchbond Multipurpose) on marginal adaptation and microleakage of dentin-bonded composite Class II restorations. A total of 72 Class II cavities with gingival margins in dentin were prepared in extracted molars and filled with fine-hybrid composites using a three-sited light curing technique. In one half of the cavities the pulpal wall was lined with a resin-modified glass ionomer cement liner (RM-GIC), in the other half a total bonding technique was applied. A. R. T. Bond and Syntac were tested with selective enamel etching (SE) and total etching (TE). Marginal adaptation was evaluated in a scanning electron microscope before and after thermocycling (TC). Microleakage was determined by dye penetration. After TC the proportions of continuous margin in dentin ranged from 37% (Syntac/SE) to 91.2% (A. R. T. Bond/TE). Scotchbond Multipurpose exhibited the lowest degree of microleakage (0.22 mm). Marginal enamel fracture was the most prevalent marginal defect at the enamel margins (8.3–22.2%). The use of the RM-GIC had no beneficial effect on any of the marginal parameters, either in dentin or in enamel. It is concluded that low degrees of marginal gap formation and microleakage can be achieved in totally bonded composite Class II restorations when using state-of-the-art multi-step bonding systems in combination with a meticulous incremental filling technique.
The purpose of the present study was to decide whether composite resin or conventional glass ionomer cement should be preferred as a base material in endodontically treated premolars. Twelve extracted human maxillary premolars were mounted in a universal testing machine at a 35° angle. Cuspal stiffness was determined by applying a load of 75 N to the buccal cusp and recording the displacement of the cusp using inductive displacement transducers. In the same teeth, different cavity preparations and restorations were performed sequentially. Standard MOD cavities were enlarged to allow endodontic access. In addition, the cusps were undermined. Half of the teeth were restored to the level of the previous shallow cavities using conventional glass ionomer cement (Ketac Fil), in the rest of the teeth dentine bonding agent (Syntac) and composite resin (Tetric) were used instead. Finally, composite resin fillings (Tetric) were placed. All restorations were removed and the experiments were repeated twice. For each replication, the assignment of the base materials to the experimental groups was reversed, and ceramic inlays (Empress) were used as final restorations for the last replication. Improvement of cuspal stiffness achieved by conventional glass ionomer bases was very small, whereas composite resin bases increased cuspal stability by more than a factor of two. After placement of the final restorations, however, there was no longer a difference between teeth with different base materials. Nevertheless, composite resin bases might be preferred for two reasons. Firstly, deterioration of adhesive restorations will probably start at the cavosurface margins. The incidence of margin gaps, however, will not only compromise marginal seal but also the stabilizing effect of the restoration. In this situation, the resin base may still stabilize the tooth. Moreover, resin bases may reduce the risk of cusp fracture during the time between cavity preparation and the insertion of adhesive inlays.
Previous studies have shown that various factors such as ionic composition or pH of the extraction medium may significantly influence leaching of components from restorative materials. Therefore, it was the aim of this investigation to determine the release of fluoride from a resin-modified glass-ionomer cement (GIC) following storage in various extraction media, including an esterase buffer. Specimens of the resin-modified GIC, Fuji II LC, were stored for 144 h in deionized water, acidic buffer (pH 4.2), neutral buffer (pH 7.0), and neutral buffer supplemented with porcine liver esterase. Fluoride release into the various media was measured every 48 h over a 6-day period. In addition, activity of porcine esterase in neutral buffer (artificial saliva) was measured for up to 144 h. The data were statistically evaluated by three-way ANOVA using the Student-Newman-Keuls test (P<0.05). It was found that esterase activity in neutral artificial saliva decreased during the first 24 h to approximately 40% of the baseline value and then remained constant for up to 6 days. Fluoride release into the various storage media varied significantly (P<0.05). The highest amounts of fluoride were released into deionized water (30.9 ppm±1.1) and acidic buffer (26.9 ppm±0.7) after 48 h. In addition, significantly more fluoride leached into esterase-containing neutral artificial saliva (6.9 ppm±0.2) than into neutral buffer without enzyme (6.3 ppm±0.2) after 96 h. Our data indicate that fluoride release from the resin-modified GIC investigated may be increased under acidic conditions and by hydrolysis in saliva.
The present study examines the three-dimensional (3D) morphology of early approximal subsurface enamel caries lesions and subjacent dentin reactions in deciduous molars. Twenty-three extracted primary molars were embedded in Technovit 9100 and serial sections were cut using a saw microtome. Forty approximal lesions were found and investigated using polarized light microscopy for the identification of the different zones of the caries lesion. These zones were then reconstructed three-dimensionally using computer-aided 3D reconstruction methods and the dimensions and volumes of the translucent zone, the body of the lesion, and the dentin lesion were calculated. The enamel demineralization index was defined as the ratio between the translucent zone and the body of the lesion, whereas the enamel–dentin demineralization index was defined as the volumetric ratio of the early dentin lesion to the body of the enamel lesion. The 3D reconstruction of the lesions showed extremely heterogeneous micromorphological features of zone profiles. In enamel lesions, the results demonstrated a decreasing enamel demineralization index with increasing size of the lesion, which indicates a high risk of further caries progression. The enamel–dentin demineralization index indicated, in 5 out of 17 dentin lesions, a high risk of further caries progression. Computer-assisted 3D reconstruction and volumetric assessment of initial caries lesions in deciduous molars represents a valuable methodology in pathogenesis studies, which may lead to a better clinical understanding of caries progression.
The aim of this study was to determine the need for oral health care in young Belgian children in the municipality of Leuven, Belgium. The sample consisted of 750 boys and girls (3 years=200, 4 years=200 and 5 years=350). Clinical examination was carried out by one examiner and duplicate recordings were made on 10% of the sample. The clinical examination included recording of: (1) plaque index; (2) gingival index; (3) caries index; and (4) fluorosis index. Plaque and gingival indices were recorded at six sites of smooth surfaces on selected teeth. Occlusal plaque was also registered. Before the clinical examination for caries and fluorosis, the children had their teeth professionally cleaned with toothbrushes and dental floss and dried by means of gauze bandages. In all age groups, the percentage of plaque-free sites was of the order of 60% and sound gingiva was identified at 83% of the recorded sites. The percentages of caries-free children were 69% (3 years), 57% (4 years) and 52% (5 years). The mean deft scores (standard error) were 1.37 (±0.21), 1.76 (±0.21) and 2.03 (±0.17). The corresponding mean defs scores were 2.04 (±0.44), 2.46 (±0.35) and 3.75 (±0.42). Non-cavitated active lesions, included in the defs scores, represented about 50% of all caries lesions. Early signs of dental fluorosis were identified in 19% (3 years), 17% (4 years) and 9% (5 years) of children. The need for oral health care in the population studied is mainly related to non-operative treatment procedures aimed at controlling the progression of disease.