Introduction Socioeconomic and ethnic status have in the past been implicated as possible causes of dental caries. Aims To assess the role that relative social depravation and ethnicity has on dental caries in two- and three-year-olds undergoing DGA in Wolverhampton. Design and methods Retrospective analysis of hospital records of 213 patients over a six-year period (2011-2016). A three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and chi-square tests were used to test statistical significance. Results The most significant factor between ethnicity, year and sex, was ethnicity (P = 0.026), with the greatest difference between mean number of teeth extracted per treatment visit for Other Whites (mean = 6.3) compared with White British (mean = 4.0) (difference P = 0.012). The association between the difference in extracted quadrant and year of treatment was significant (P = 0.011), with the greatest frequency of extractions involving three and four quadrants in the later years of 2015 and 2016. Seventy percent of children treated were living in the 20% most deprived areas (deciles one and two) compared with children living in more affluent areas (deciles three to ten) (P <0.001). Conclusion An important public health issue is highlighted which needs to be addressed, both at a national level and locally, through early oral health education for mothers from relatively deprived areas; particularly those of Other White ethnicity.
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