Aim: We aimed to evaluate the pooled prevalence of dental pain amongst children and adolescents. Methods: Studies conducted in children and adolescents up to18 years of age and where prevalence of dental is reported or calculated were included. Search was performed in four major databases from inception to June 1st, 2019. Prevalence estimate at the maximal recall for the dental pain for the individual study was used to calculate the overall pooled estimate. Results: The prevalence of dental pain ranged from 1.33 to 87.8% in the included publications for quantitative synthesis (n = 97). More than half of the publications reported the lifetime prevalence of dental pain (n = 51) while few studies reported the current prevalence of dental pain (n = 3) and only one study evaluated the dental pain in the past one week. Heterogeneity was high among the included publications (Q = 49,063.12; P < 0.001; df = 96 and I2 = 99.8; P < 0.001). Overall pooled prevalence of dental pain was 32.7 (CI = 29.6–35.9). No difference was seen with respect to the trends in prevalence of dental pain (Coefficient: 0.005; 95% CI − 0.001–0.011; P-value: 0.101). Conclusion: Two out of ten children below five years, four out of ten children between 6 and 12 years and three out of ten adolescents between 13 and 18 years would have experienced pain in the past. Overall, three out of ten children or adolescents might have experienced dental pain in the past. There was no difference in the pain prevalence between male and females. Studies from Africa reported highest pooled prevalence (50.1%) with least being from Australia (20.7%). Studies from India (40.4%), China (41.3%) and Iran (42.6%) reported high pooled prevalence estimates of dental pain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Dentistry (miscellaneous)