Aim: To evaluate caries spectrum among 12- and 15-year-old Indian children using the Caries Assessment Spectrum and Treatment (CAST) index.
Materials and methods: An epidemiological survey of the schoolchildren was carried out in a district in India. A stratified cluster random sampling method was used to select the sample. The caries prevalence of the surveyed population was obtained by using this CAST tool. Chi-square test was used to verify the association between dental fluorosis, socioeconomic status, and age and caries experience. Mann–Whitney U-test was used to compare the caries experience between the two age groups
Results: A total of 2,610 children were examined. The majority of the schoolchildren (12 years: 74.2%, 15 years: 75.5%) were healthy concerning their caries experience and the prevalence of the other codes was minimal. The prevalence of dentin carious lesions and the percent of restorable teeth was greater among the 15-year-olds. The mean decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) of 12- and 15-year-old subjects was calculated to be 0.22 and 0.29 respectively.
Conclusion: The currently surveyed population showed a low caries prevalence and the use of the tool highlighted the caries spectrum in an impressive way.
Clinical significance: A well-designed tool to assess the carious spectrum of an individual or a community, thus enabling the responsible stakeholders to plan an appropriate care that is necessary.
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