Dental Caries and Restorations in Undocumented Border Crossers




Demel, Megan

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Dental caries are among one of the most common diseases found in humans and the prevalence and frequency of the occurrence of these lesions often depends on the health and diet of the local population. An individual's socioeconomic status can indicate if the lesion is ever treated or what type of dental restoration is used. The purpose of this study is to observe the carious lesions and dental restorations of unidentified undocumented border crossers that have died during migration across the Texas-Mexico border region, specifically those whose remains were recovered in Brooks, Starr, Val Verde, and Jim Hogg counties by the Reuniting Families Project at Baylor University. Of the individuals examined 81.60% had at least one observable occurrence of either a carie or restoration, 64.37% had at least one untreated carie, and 40.23% had at least one dental restoration. This population’s caries prevalence is similar to American populations, but the prevalence of untreated caries is much higher than any comparison populations.



Dental Anthropology, Forensic Science, Dental Caries, Dental Restorations