European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 461–466 | Cite as

Prevalence of enamel defects and association with dental caries in preschool children

  • C. Massignan
  • M. Ximenes
  • C. da Silva Pereira
  • L. Dias
  • M. Bolan
  • M. CardosoEmail author
Original Scientific Article



This was to evaluate the prevalence of the developmental defects of enamel (DDE) in primary teeth and its association with dental caries.


A cross-sectional study with a randomised representative sample was carried out with 1101 children aged 2–5 years enrolled in public preschools (50% prevalence of DDE in primary teeth, a standard error of 3%, and a confidence level of 95%). Three calibrated dentists (K > 0.62) performed clinical examination. Data collected were: sex, age, DDE (Modified DDE Index) and dental caries (WHO). Descriptive analysis, Chi-square test and multinomial logistic regression were applied for data analysis.


Among children, 565 (51.3%) were boys; mean age was 3.7 (±0.9 years). The prevalence of enamel defect was 39.1%; the prevalence of diffuse opacities, demarcated opacities and enamel hypoplasia was 25.3, 19.1 and 6.1%, respectively. The prevalence of dental caries was 31.0%, with mean def-t 1.14 (±2.44). Primary teeth with enamel hypoplasia had three times the odds of having dental caries than those with absence of enamel defects (OR = 3.10; 95% CI: 1.91, 5.01).


The presence of enamel defects was moderate and associated with dental caries.


Dental caries Preschool Primary teeth Developmental defect enamel 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

“All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Funding source

No funding was secured for this study.

Financial disclosure

The authors have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Massignan
    • 1
  • M. Ximenes
    • 1
  • C. da Silva Pereira
    • 1
  • L. Dias
    • 1
  • M. Bolan
    • 1
  • M. Cardoso
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de OdontologiaUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSCFlorianópolisBrazil

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