Caries prevalence in Australasia

Int Dent J. 1994 Aug;44(4 Suppl 1):415-23.


The prevalence of caries in Australian children has decreased markedly since its peak in the 1950s. More than half the child population has no experience of caries. However, a small minority, approximately one in sixteen, may be considered still at high risk with an unacceptably large number of teeth with caries experience. This is leading to the addition of high risk strategies to programmes for caries prevention and management. While the prevalence of caries in children has decreased, caries experience in adults has remained widespread and extensive. The majority of teeth in dentate adults have experienced caries. Comparisons over time indicate little change in caries experience in middle-aged adults, but an increase in filled teeth and decrease in missing teeth. The prevalence of caries has not changed substantially, but the management of the disease has moved towards maintenance and repair of teeth. Tooth retention has increased over recent decades. Edentulism has decreased markedly and dentate adults are retaining more teeth. Sizeable increases in the pool of teeth at risk of caries give emphasis to the continued need for preventive measures to reduce caries activity in adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Dental Health Surveys
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / statistics & numerical data
  • Fluorides / administration & dosage
  • Fluorides / therapeutic use
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth, Edentulous / epidemiology
  • Mouth, Edentulous / prevention & control
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / statistics & numerical data
  • New Zealand
  • Oral Health
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Tooth Loss / epidemiology
  • Tooth Loss / prevention & control
  • Tooth, Deciduous


  • Pit and Fissure Sealants
  • Fluorides