A community based cross-sectional study was conducted from June 2011 to September 2011 to assess the prevalence and associated factors of dental caries among children at Gondar town. Gondar town is 737 kilometers away from the capital, Addis Ababa. According to 2011 Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA) estimate, the town had a total population of 244,583 of whom children under 15 years of age were 104,192
]. The town has 12 urban and 12 rural kebele
administrations. It has two government hospitals, seven health centers and 37 private clinics and one private hospital
Children between 7 to 14 years of age and living in Gondar town were included in the study. Sample size was calculated using single population proportion formula with an assumption of 95% confidence level, 5% degree of precision, proportion of dental careis, 47.1% and design effect of two. Ten percent non- response rate was added to make the final sample size 842. Multistage random sampling was employed to select the study subjects. Among twelve urban kebele administrations six kebele were selected randomly and then 62 ‘ketenas’, the lowest administration, were selected using simple random sampling technique from each kebele. The sample size was allocated proportionally according to the size of children in each ‘ketena’. Number of children and their name lists were taken from health posts and then children were selected randomly.
Pretested and structured questionnaires that included socio-demographic characteristics, dietary habit, health care seeking behavior towards oral health problems and oral care practice were used for data collection. The aim of the pretest was to increase the validity and reliability of data collection tools. Hence, data collection tools were pretested in other area which had a similar setup of the study area ahead of the actual data collection. After the pretest, we did amendments on the final version questionnaire based on the feedback we obtained from the pretest. Dental examination was carried out to all randomly selected children by dental doctors to identify the presence of dental caries cases. The dental examination was done in day light. Disposable wooden spatulas were utilized to check the presence of decay.
Trained six data collectors for data collection and three dental doctors for physical examination were involved. Prior to the study, data collectors were given two days intensive training on dental caries assessment based on world health organization (WHO). The dental caries diagnosis protocol was obtained from WHO dental caries diagnosis guideline. The dentists or dental doctors were trained and practiced on pretest to follow and keep up uniform and standard dental caries assessment on children.
Caries was recorded as being present when a lesion in a pit or fissure or on smooth tooth surface had a detectable softened floor, undermined enamel or softened wall. A filled tooth also included in this category when it contains one or more restorations and one or more areas that are decayed. When any doubt existed, caries was not recorded as present. Tooth was considered missing because of caries if a person gave a history of pain and/or presence of cavity prior to extraction. Incomplete questionnaires were refilled during field work. Data were entered, cleaned and edited in EPI Info version 3.5.1 and exported to SPSS for windows version 16.0 for further analysis. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were employed. Odds ratio with 95%CI was computed to assess the presence and degree of association between dependent and independent variables. A p-value
0.05 was considered statistically significant in this study.
Ethical clearance was obtained from University of Gondar College of medicine and health sciences institutional review board. Official communication was made between Gondar city mayors. A written consent was obtained from parents before interview and examination. The data were collected anonymously. Cases of dental caries were referred to University of Gondar referral hospital dental clinic for treatment.