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Oral health and malocclusion in 10-to-11 years-old children in southern Italy

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  /1/2009

Authors:  D. Migale, E. Barbato, M. Bossù, R. Ferro*, L. Ottolenghi

Language:  English

Institution:  Department of Oral Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Publisher:  Ariesdue Srl

Keywords:  Caries; Malocclusion; Orthodontic treatment need.

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Email:  [email protected]

Title:  Oral health and malocclusion in 10-to-11 years-old children in southern Italy

Abstract:  Aim This study had two main goals: the evaluation of caries experience in permanent teeth and the analysis of malocclusion prevalence. Study design Observational cross-sectional survey. Methods The sample consisted of all the 5th graders of “Giò Leonardo di Bona”, the only Public School in Cutro, a small urban area in Southern Italy (10.000 inhabitants). The clinical examination was performed by a trained dentist at the school infirmary, and no radiographs, study casts, or previous written records of the children were available. DMFS-DMFT and Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) were used to fulfil the study objectives. After the examination, parents received a report on presence/absence of dental caries and possible orthodontic treatment need. Statistics All data were analysed with StatView and Stata 8.0 software. The c2 test was applied to compare prevalence rates. The c2 linearity was used to evaluate whether caries and malocclusion prevalence changed with a steady trend with reference to sex. Results The 94% (n=97) of the whole sample gave a positive consent to the screening. The overall mean of DFS was 4.30 (4.74 SD) while the mean of DFT was 2.60 (2.03 SD). The 22.7% of the sample had DFS/T = 0. Statistically significant difference between genders according to DFS (p = 0.017) and DFT (p = 0.002) distribution was found, being females’ significantly lower than males’. Using the DHC-IOTN, 51.6% of the children were assigned to the no/little need, 26.8% to borderline need and 21.6% to a great need for orthodontic treatment. There was no statistically significant difference by gender according to distribution of occlusal traits (p > 0.05), except in the anterior cross bite, being males significantly more affected (p = 0.030). Conclusions We believe that oral health and orthodontic surveys performed on a higher number of patients at an early age are critical in order to enhance early treatment, thus avoiding severe malocclusions and progression of dental caries. The results of our study indicate that 21.6% of the sample had an objective orthodontic treatment need (grades 4-5 DHC-IOTN). The single Aesthetic Component (AC) score of the IOTN failed to identify orthodontic treatment needs in our sample: only 13% rated themselves as being in categories 5-10 (great aesthetic need for treatment). With reference to dental caries, males had a mean DFT (3.20) higher than the WHO’s 2000 Oral Health Goal for 12-years-olds (DFT = 3) while females (DFT = 1.96) were significantly under this target. The children were advised to undergo regular examinations and to change their lifestyle habits.

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