The aim was to examine if anterior/posterior patterns of decayed missing and filled teeth in 3-year-old children in Greater Glasgow and Clyde differ by socioeconomic status and by calendar time. The children were inspected in 2006/7, 2007/8, 2008/9 and in 2009/10. A mean d3mft score was created for the four posterior teeth in the upper arch and also for the two central incisors in the upper arch. The difference between the anterior and posterior scores was calculated. Additionally, an endpoint of the occurrence of obvious caries experience in both the anterior and posterior teeth was created for the upper arch. The analyses were repeated within the fifths of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. We sampled a total of 10 022 children. The anterior-posterior difference was statistically greater for the most deprived children vs the most affluent children; adjusted mean difference of differences =0.03 (0.02, 0.05), p<0.001. These differences have reduced with calendar time, and by 2009/10 there was no anterior-posterior difference (mean=0.00 for both the most deprived and the most affluent children). Over the four year period, there was more caries in both the anterior/posterior teeth for deprived children (6%) than in affluent children (1%); OR=5.76. This effect was also reduced by 2009/10. There is evidence that the pattern of decay in the upper arch is different in more deprived communities, with more caries in the anterior teeth and more decay in both the posterior/anterior teeth simultaneously. These effects were reduced by calendar time as population prevalence reduced.
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