Title: Prevalence in Italian schoolchildren and orthodontic treatment need
Abstract: Aim The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of malocclusion and the need for orthodontic treatment in a sample of 3,017 Italian schoolchildren.
Materials and methods Study design: 1,375 males and 1,642 females, aged between 8 and 13 years, were visited in primary and secondary schools. Signs of malocclusion were registered according to an occlusal index by trained and calibrated operators. First the prevalence of malocclusion was calculated in accordance to a scale of need for orthodontic treatment (R.O.M.A. index), which considers both malocclusion signs and risk factors for worsening of malocclusion without any treatment and during craniofacial development. Then the distribution of the most frequent characteristics, signs and symptoms was evaluated both within each risk grade and in the basic sample.
Results The overall percentage of children classified as 3, 4 and 5 grade accounted for 75.8% of the sample. The percentage of children classified as 4 and 5 grade are similar to those found in other European countries. The most frequent features found are poor oral hygiene, caries and early loss of deciduous teeth, deviation from full intercuspation, increased overbite and overjet.
Conclusion This epidemiological research describes the current orthodontic treatment need in Italy in children with a late mixed dentition.