"Objective. This study is part of a larger research program, at the Finnish Student Health Service in Helsinki, in which changes in the dental and oral health of first-year university students (born in Helsinki) in the years 1982 and 2002 were compared. Material and Methods. Panoramic radiographs were taken of 176 students in 1982, mean age 19.8 years (SD +/- 0.7), and of 231 in 2002, mean age 20.2 (SD +/- 0.7). DMFT index, caries and periapical changes, alveolar bone resorption, wisdom teeth, supernumerary, missing, and persisting deciduous teeth were evaluated from the radiographs. The chi-squared test and non-parametric tests were used to analyze the statistical significance of differences between the study groups and between genders. Results. The DMFT index diminished from 11.0 (SD +/- 4.2) to 2.9 (SD +/- 3.3) (p < 0.0001). In 2002, 27.9% of the students had a DMFT index of zero in 1982, 0%, (p < 0.000). The mean number of endodontically treated teeth diminished from 0.1 to 0.03 (p < 0.05). The number of impacted wisdom teeth increased in males from mean 0.41 to 0.69 (p < 0.05). Conclusions. An improvement in dental health was obvious in the year 2002. The favorable change in DMFT index is a trend that has been going on for several decades in Finland, probably as a result of the use of fluorides and better education in dental hygiene. The change might also be connected with improved general health."
Peltola, J., Ventä, I., Haahtela, S., Lakoma, A., Ylipaavalniemi, P., & Turtola, L. (2006). Dental and oral radiographic findings in first-year university students in 1982 and 2002 in Helsinki, Finland. Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, 64, 42-46. https://doi.org/10.1080/00016350500419800