University of Oulu

Karhumaa, H., Lämsä, E., Vähänikkilä, H. et al. Dental caries and attendance to dental care in Finnish children with operated congenital heart disease. A practice based follow-up study. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent 22, 659–665 (2021).

Dental caries and attendance to dental care in Finnish children with operated congenital heart disease : a practice based follow-up study

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Author: Karhumaa, H.1,2; Lämsä, E.1; Vähänikkilä, H.3;
Organizations: 1Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Pediatric Dentistry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Centre, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Infrastructure of Cohort Studies, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4New Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-13


Purpose: Oral health of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) is of utmost importance. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of dental caries and attendance to dental care in Finnish heart-operated CHD patients born in 1997–1999.

Methods: The cohort of children born in 1997–1999 was selected using a national register on all heart-operated children in Finland. Gender, general health problems, diagnosis, type of the heart defect (shunting, stenotic and complex defects), and number of operations were available and included in the analyses. Dental records from primary health care were collected from municipalities with their permission. The data comprised of the number of dental examinations and data on caries status (dt, DT, dmft, DMFT) at the age of 7 (grade 1), 11 (grade 5) and 15 (grade 8) years and at the most recent examination. The control group consisted of dental data on patients born in 1997–1999 provided by the City of Oulu, Finland (n = 3356).

Results: Oral patient records of 215/570 children were obtained. The difference between the defect types was statistically significant both for DT (p = 0.046) and DMFT (p = 0.009) at the age of 15 (grade 8). The prevalence of caries did not differ between the study population and the controls. High present and past caries experiences were not associated with higher number of visits to oral health care, especially to oral hygienist, or with oral health promotion. National obligations concerning dental visits were not implemented in all municipalities.

Conclusion: There seems to be a need for oral health promotion and preventive means implemented by oral hygienists among those with CHD.

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Series: European archives of paediatric dentistry
ISSN: 1818-6300
ISSN-E: 1996-9805
ISSN-L: 1818-6300
Volume: 22
Issue: 4
Pages: 659 - 665
DOI: 10.1007/s40368-021-00603-8
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Funding: Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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