Abstract: Aim A new index targeted on the risk of malocclusions in primary dentition, called Baby-ROMA (Risk Of Malocclusion Assessment) index, was set up to assess risks/benefits in early orthodontic therapies. The Baby-ROMA index was designed from the observation that some of the malocclusion signs, observed in primary dentition, can worsen with growth, others remain the same over time and others can even improve. Therefore it would be important to classify the malocclusions observed at an early stage on a risk-based scale.
Methods The reliability of the index was tested on 200 children, referred by their paediatricians to two different Orthodontic Departments, aged 4-6 years and in full primary dentition. The children were evaluated by two operators, both trained and calibrated on the use of the Baby-ROMA index.
Results The K test showed a high reproducibility of the index. It is shown that 50% of patients presented malocclusion and crossbite had the highest prevalence, followed by tooth decay and early loss of deciduous teeth and negative overjet.
Conclusion The Baby-ROMA index was helpful to assess the severity of malocclusion and the timing for orthodontic treatment in very young patients (primary teeth).