Title: Orthodontic treatment timing in growing patients
Abstract: Aim The aim of the study is to estimate the orthodontic treatment timing for the main occlusal problems in growing patients.
Methods Study design: a cross-sectional study was carried out in Italian primary and secondary schools from 2008 to 2011; 1375 males and 1642 females, aged between 8 and 13 years, were visited. The sample is divided into two main groups: primary school and secondary school. Selected malocclusion signs were registered according to an occlusal index (ROMA index) by trained and calibrated operators. Prevalence of increased overjet, Class III malocclusion, crossbite, deep bite and open bite observed in each group are compared. A significant decrease of prevalence with age is considered a sign of spontaneous improvement of the malocclusion.
Results Descriptive analyses were performed using frequencies, percentages and chi-square tests to evaluate differences for categorical variables. The level of significance was set at p ≤0.05. Data were analysed with the software SPSS 19.0 for Windows. Class III malocclusion, moderate or severe crossbite and severe increased overjet and overbite seem not to improve spontaneously.
Conclusion Early treatment of orthodontic problems that do not improve with age may be helpful to avoid worsening of the condition in permanent dentition. Moderate Class II malocclusion and crossbite treatment can be postponed.