Prevalence and impact of dental pain in 8-10-year-olds in the western Cape.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of acute dental pain in 8-10-year-old schoolchildren in the Western Cape. The study sample was drawn from schools in Stellenbosch, Malmesbury, Mitchells Plain, Mossel Bay and Robertson. Eighty eight per cent reported that they had experienced dental pain and 70% within the last two months. The prevalence and severity of pain in this study is much higher than reported studies in England and the USA. A high percentage of children not only live with pain on a daily basis, but also missed school on account of it (70%). There is an urgent necessity for oral health to be given a greater priority within the district health system to improve access to integrated oral health care services with appropriate preventive and treatment measures.