Objectives: To obtain baseline data for caries prevalence, use of dental sealants, and dental treatment needs for children of migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs) enrolled in the Illinois Summer Migrant Education Program, 2004.
Methods: This study adapted the methodology of Healthy Smiles Healthy Growth 2003-2004, by Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Division of Oral Health. Oral screenings were conducted for children of migrant and seasonal farmworkers at participating schools.
Results: Of the 840 eligible children 58% participated in the assessment. Overall caries experience was 64%. Untreated decay was observed in 42%, 8% urgently needed treatment, and sealant prevalence was 51%. Among those 6-9 years old (n = 254), 47% had cavitated lesions, 12% urgently needed treatment, and 45% had dental sealants. For children 10-15 years old (n = 198), 34% had cavitated lesions, 4% urgently needed treatment, and 65% had dental sealants.
Conclusions: The population's mobility suggests need for more frequent surveillance for effective programmatic planning.