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.
The sample consisted of all the
5th graders of 'Gio 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
Chi-square test was applied to compare prevalence rates. The Chi-square linearity was used to evaluate whether caries and
malocclusion prevalence changed with a steady trend with reference to sex.
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.
Vol.10 – n.1/2009
Harvard: D. Migale, E. Barbato, M. Boss, R. Ferro, L. Ottolenghi (2009) "Oral health and malocclusion in 10-to-11 years-old children in southern Italy", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 10(1), pp13-18. doi:
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