BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to launch a pilot project on pit and fissure sealant application under National Oral Health Programme to prevent dental caries which mostly affects children of 6-14 years.
Initiated by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFM), the project would be implemented in collaboration with Government Dental colleges/autonomous bodies.
As per an MoU signed between MoHFW and SCB Dental College and Hospital at Cuttack, application of pit and fissure sealants in 5,000 molars will be completed successfully in one year.
Health officials said since majority of the caries begins due to developmental irregularities of the teeth present in occlusal surface of the molars, the pit and fissure sealant, a proven, reliable and non-invasive procedure, can be carried out on molars to prevent dental caries.
The MoU for the school-based sealant programme will be operative for one year or till its renewal. The MoHFW will provide financial support of `7.2 lakh to the institution involved for the activity and grants will be released in two instalments.
According to a study, dental caries is the most prevalent chronic infectious disease in developing States and it prevails as an epidemic. More than 50 per cent of children are found to be afflicted with dental caries leading to morbidity, loss of school hours and significant economic burden.
Geographical location plays a significant role in caries prevalence and it varies with the change in location. According to national oral health survey report, caries prevalence was 51.9 per cent, 53.8 per cent and 63.1 per cent at ages 5, 12 and 15 years respectively in the country.
A few years back, a high level of dental caries in children was reported from Cuttack. The point prevalence of dental caries was reported to be 64.3 per cent with an average decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) index of 2.38 at the age of 5-15 years.
During that time, the prevalence of caries showed a pattern of occurrence and consistently increased from five to eight years age group and subsequently decreased at 11 and 15 years of age.