Dental health of young Vietnamese immigrants

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1981 Oct;9(5):239-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.1981.tb00337.x.


About 3000 refugees from Vietnam have come to Norway in the last 5 years. A survey, including a clinical and radiographic examination for caries and gingival health, was carried out on 142 refugees. They were aged from 2 to 18 years and were examined within 6 weeks of arrival in Norway. The mean dmfs score of subjects 2-5 years old was 23.9, for subjects 6-11, dmfs was 12.4 and DMFS 7.7, and for subjects 12-18, DMFS was 20.0. The dmf/DMF scores were mainly composed of caries grades 3 and 4 (dentin caries or caries with pulpal involvement), and teeth missing or indicated for extraction. Only eight subjects had restorations, and these were often of poor quality. All subjects over 6 years had gingivitis (GBI 62%). About 10% had enamel hypoplasias on permanent anterior teeth. Dental abscesses and periapical areas indicated an acute treatment need, and most subjects were in urgent need of restorative treatment. Average time required for treatment of 12-18-year-old patients is estimated to be 7-10 hours, about four times that required for Norwegian schoolchildren. Dental examination of newly arrived Vietnamese refugees is recommended.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Health Surveys*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Norway
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Refugees*
  • Vietnam / ethnology