The aim of this study was to investigate the association between dental caries index among 12-year-old schoolchildren and individual and contextual factors related to the schools in the city of Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. A cross-sectional study was carried out with 2,075 schoolchildren using the 2010 National Survey of Oral Health methodology. The dependent variable was the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index and the independent variables were individual (sex, race, and maternal education) and contextual ones (type of school, health district, and the presence of oral programs). Multilevel analysis and log-linear negative binominal regression were performed, considering the complex sampling design. Mean DMFT index was 1.51. Female students, whose mothers had lower schooling, those attending public schools, located in districts with the worst socioeconomic indicators, and covered by the Family Health Strategy had higher caries levels. The dental caries index was low and associated with the schoolchildren sociodemographic characteristics and factors related to the schools, showing inequalities in distribution.
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