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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 556-560
Prevalence of malocclusion and orthodontic treatment needs among 16 and 17 year-old school-going children in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh

1 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, H. P. Government Dental College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 M. M. C. D. S. and R. Mullana, Ambala, Haryana, India
3 Department of Pedodontics, H. P. Government Dental College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

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Date of Submission15-Jun-2010
Date of Decision29-Sep-2010
Date of Acceptance07-Dec-2010
Date of Web Publication26-Nov-2011


Background: Many studies have been conducted in India to know the prevalence of malocclusion and the orthodontic treatment needs using dental aesthetic index (DAI), but no study so far has been conducted in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh.
To know the prevalence of malocclusion and orthodontic treatment needs among 16- and 17 year-old school-going children in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh.
Materials and Methods: The study was carried out on 622 (365 boys and 257 girls) school children, aged 16 and 17 years, from February 2009 to May 2009. Type III examination was conducted and the assessment of malocclusion was done according to the DAI.
Results: 20.28% of the male and 24.52% of the female students in the sample were affected with malocclusion. The mean DAI scores of the male and female children were 22.26 and 21.79, respectively. Distribution of the four DAI grades was as follows: DAI-I (no abnormality or minor malocclusion) 79.58%, DAI-II (definite malocclusion) 16.39%, DAI-III (severe malocclusion) 3.69%, DAI-IV (very severe/handicapping malocclusion) 0.34%.
Conclusion: The present study shows that 20.42% of the children examined had malocclusion which required treatment.

Keywords: Dental aesthetic index, malocclusion, orthodontic treatment needs

How to cite this article:
Bhardwaj V K, Veeresha K L, Sharma K R. Prevalence of malocclusion and orthodontic treatment needs among 16 and 17 year-old school-going children in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh. Indian J Dent Res 2011;22:556-60

How to cite this URL:
Bhardwaj V K, Veeresha K L, Sharma K R. Prevalence of malocclusion and orthodontic treatment needs among 16 and 17 year-old school-going children in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2011 [cited 2019 Oct 15];22:556-60. Available from:
Oral health is an integral part of general health. [1] Healthy mouth enables an individual to eat, speak and socialize without active disease or discomfort and contributes to the general well-being. It is concerned with maintaining the health of craniofacial complex, the teeth and gums as well as the tissue of the face and head that surrounds the mouth. [2]

Dentofacial appearance has a lot to do with the way the people are perceived in the society. [3] Adolescents with significant dentofacial inharmonies are considered at risk for negative self-esteem and social maladjustments. [4] In general, malocclusion is defined as an irregularity of the teeth or a molar relationship of the dental arches beyond the accepted range of normal. [2]

Severe malocclusion can be a social handicap. [5] Malocclusion can cause different problems for the patient, such as psychosocial problem related to impaired dentofacial esthetics, problems with oral functions including difficulty in jaw movements, temporomandibular joint disturbances, difficulty in mastication, swallowing and speech, greater susceptibility to trauma and accentuated periodontal disease. [6]

Malocclusion is one of the most widespread oral health problems that the society is facing. It has not been so thoroughly investigated, probably because the pain and misery caused by this disorder is seldom acute. The prevalence of malocclusion varies from country to country and among different races. Malocclusion is a developmental problem determined mainly by hereditary and environmental factors. Any of these factors may influence the type and frequency of malocclusion in a given population. [7]

The demand for orthodontic treatment is increasing in most of the countries including India. Therefore, rational planning of orthodontic preventive measures on population basis is essential. This stresses the importance of epidemiological studies in order to obtain knowledge about the prevalence of different types of malocclusion and the need for the orthodontic treatment and in accessing the resources required for such services.

Malocclusion is a morphological variation and its diagnosis is heavily dependent on a man-made, more or less arbitrary classification system. This has intensified the demand for international standards for the epidemiological surveys, which are necessary as a foundation for the planning and evaluation of dental services. [8]

Most of the malocclusion can be corrected if detected early by correctional methods. Growth and maturation of the jaws almost get completed by 16 and 17 years. So, correcting the malocclusion at this age will reduce the chances of the relapse which otherwise might take place during the active growth period of the local skeletal tissue. [6]

There are no records of the earlier reports related to the prevalence of malocclusion and orthodontic treatment needs in senior secondary school children aged 16 and 17 years in Himachal Pradesh, in general, and Shimla, in particular. Hence, the present study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of malocclusion and need for orthodontic treatment in senior secondary school children aged 16 and 17 years in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh.

   Materials and Methods Top

This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 16- and 17-year-old school children in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh. Prior permission was taken from Director, Higher Education, District Education Officer and Heads of the concerned schools. After getting ethical clearance from the education ethical committee of Government Dental College and Hospital, Shimla, a pilot study was done on 50 students. A simple random sample of a total of 622 students was taken, which consisted of 365 males and 257 females from randomly selected nine senior secondary schools (both government and private) in Shimla city, Himachal Pradesh. The study was conducted from 25 th February to 4 th May 2009 as per schedule in the schools.

Inclusion criterion: All the children aged 16 and 17 years who had not undergone orthodontic treatment and who agreed to take part in the study were examined.

Type III examination, as recommended by the American Dental Association, [8] which includes inspection using a mirror and probe, done under good illumination was conducted. The examination was performed under natural light using disposable gloves, tongue blade and mouth mirrors. A periodontal probe was used for millimeter measurement. The assessment of malocclusion was made according to the dental aesthetic index (DAI) as described by the WHO oral health survey, 1997. [9] All the 10 components were measured. Each school visit was followed by imparting dental health education to the students. The students who needed orthodontic treatment were referred to H. P. Govt. Dental College and Hospital, Shimla, for further management.

The data obtained were analyzed using SPSS package. "P" ≤ 0.05 was considered as statistically significant and "P" values ≤0.01 were considered as statistically highly significant.

   Results Top

Out of a total sample of 622 students, 365 were males and 257 were females. 291 (79.72%) males and 194 (75.48%) females were found to have normal occlusion. The prevalence of malocclusion was found to be 20.28% among males and 24.52% among females [Table 1]. The distribution of each component of DAI is given in [Table 2] where it can be seen that 8.68% of the subjects had at least one or more permanent teeth missing, 62.7% had crowding, 29.6% had spacing in one or two segments. 28.77% of the subjects had a diastema of 1 mm or more. Maximum irregularity of >1 mm was present in 32.8% subjects. 44.38% of the subjects had lower anterior irregularity of 1 mm or more. Only 1.13% of the students had anterior cross bite.
Table 1: Distribution of subjects gender wise indicating normal occlusion and malocclusion

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Table 2: Distribution of DAI component

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Anterior open bite was present only among 0.97% of the cases. 82.32% had normal occlusion. About four-fifths of the children presented DAI grade-I malocclusion representing a minor malocclusion or no anomalies. 16.44% of the subjects presented with definite malocclusion classified as grade-II. Grade-III score was present among 3.67% of the total subjects. Only two female subjects were with very severe handicapping malocclusion. No male subject was found with grade-IV DAI score [Table 3].
Table 3: Distribution of the subjects according to DAI score and gender

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Majority of the subjects (79.58%) required no or slight treatment. Elective, highly desirable and mandatory treatment was required among 16.39%, 3.69% and 0.34% subjects, respectively [Table 4].
Table 4: Distribution of subjects according to severity of malocclusion and the treatment needs

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   Discussion Top

Many epidemiological studies have been conducted worldwide utilizing various indices for quantifying the extent of malocclusion. The DAI was selected for this study rather than orthodontic treatment index because it combines both the objective occlusal and the subjective esthetic aspects of the occlusionIts relative simplicity and high reliability have made DAI a widely used cross-cultural index by WHO. [10]

Apart from the genetic makeup for the malocclusion, growth and development of the maxilla is also an important factor for the prevalence of malocclusion. 8.03% of the subjects had missing anterior teeth. The difference was statistically significant among the genders. Similar results were obtained in a study conducted on Peruvian young adults. [10] Missing teeth could be due to nonavailability of dental health services or not availing exiting health facilities.

Almost two-thirds of the subjects presented with crowding of one or two segments and the difference among genders was highly significant. Similar results were found in a study done on an ethnic Chinese population [11] and among adolescents in Central America. [12]

Higher prevalence of crowding was found in a study conducted on Peruvian young adults. [11] However, results of some studies [13],[14],[15] showed lesser prevalence of crowding. Crowding could be due to a discrepancy that arises when the tooth size is relatively too big for the given arch circumference. [16]

In the present study, the results obtained on incisal segment spacing were similar to those of a study conducted on 13-15 year old North Jordanian school children, [16] but lesser than the results of studies conducted on Swedish men [13] and Peruvian young adults. [10] Muniz [15] reported that diastema was prevalent among one-tenth of the total subjects in a study conducted on Argentine children, [15] which is only one-third of the diastema found in this study. The difference could be due to geographical and genetic variation. [16]

One-third of the subjects showed anterior maxillary irregularity in the present study. Similar figures were obtained in a study on Hungarian adolescents. [17] Peruvian young adults [10] showed a higher prevalence of mandibular irregularity than the results of the present study where it was found in 44.38% of the total subjects. In the present study, anterior irregularity was more in mandible than in the maxilla and females exhibited more irregularity and statistically significant difference was found among the genders.

The results obtained on increased overjet in the present study are comparable to the results obtained by Mike [14] in a study conducted in Lagos, Nigeria. In contrast, higher prevalence of overjet was found in this study as compared to the one conducted by Foster et al. [18] on Shropshire school population and lower prevalence of overjet was found than that obtained in the studies on Dutch adults [19] and Saudi Arabian school children. [20]

Results of some studies [14],[15] showed a higher prevalence of anterior crossbite than the present study where it was only 1.13%. Prevalence of open bite in the present study was almost negligible (0.97%) which is similar to the results of the studies done on similar populations. [10],[14],[19]

Almost four-fifth of the subjects had normal molar relationship. 11.89% had half cusp deviation and 5.78% had one cusp deviation. These figures are higher than that obtained in the study on Hungarian adolescents. [17] Mean DAI scores were 22.13 and 22.01 among the study participants. American school children [21] and high school students [22] in Japan were found to have higher mean DAI scores compared to the scores obtained in the present study. Four-fifth of the subjects in the present study presented no abnormality, with no or slight treatment required. Difference among genders was highly significant when DAI score ≤25 (grade-I) was calculated. Results of the present study showed higher scores compared to those of similar studies. [23],[24],[25]

16.39% presented with a definite malocclusion and required elective treatment which is comparatively lesser than the results of studies conducted on school children in United states [23] and Brazil. [25] 3.69% and 0.34% of the subjects had severe and handicapping malocclusion, respectively, for which treatment was highly desirable and mandatory, which is lesser than the prevalence among Malaysian school children. [24] Significant difference was found among genders when severe malocclusion was calculated, for which treatment was highly desirable.

   Conclusion Top

The study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of malocclusion among 16- and 17-year olds, which is the ideal age for correctional orthodontic treatment. It also indicates the burden of orthodontic treatment in a subpopulation in Shimla city. The results of this screening of the school children show that majority of them are not affected with malocclusion. However, one-fifth of the study sample needed one or other orthodontic corrections. The finding of the present study remains significant in providing the first data on the orthodontic status and treatment needs of 16- and 17 year-old school children in Shimla city. Hence, the authorities in the government and in the government dental college should think of a screening program for the school children to identify the needy for the orthodontic correction and motivate them to accept orthodontic treatment.

   References Top

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4.Philip C, Bennet ME, Brader HL. Dentofacial disharmony, psychological status of patients seeking treatment consultation. Angle Orthod 1998;68:547-56.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Jenny J. A social perspective on need and demand for orthodontic treatment. Int Dent J 1975;25: 248-56.  Back to cited text no. 5
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8.Thilender B, Pena L, Infante C, Parada SS, de Mayorga C. Prevalence of malocclusion and orthodontic treatment need in children and adolescent in Bogota, Colombia. An epidemiological survey related to different stages of dental development. Eur J Orthod 2001;23:153-67.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.World Health Organization. Oral Health Surveys, Basic methods, 4 th ed, Geneva: WHO; 1997.   Back to cited text no. 9
10. Bernabé E, Flores-Mir C. Orthodontic treatment need in Peruvian young adults evaluated through DAI. Angle Orthod 2006; 76:417-21.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Fong WC, Loh E, Lew KK. Malocclusion prevalence in an ethnic Chinese population. Aust Dent J 1993;38:442-9.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Gelgör IE, Karaman AI, Ercan E. Prevalence of malocclusion among adolescents in Central America. Eur J Dent 2007;1:125-31.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Ingervall B, Mohlin B, Thilander B. Prevalence and awareness of malocclusion in Swedish men. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1978;6: 308-14.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Mike I. Malocclusion in Nigeria. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1983;11:59-62.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Muniz BR. Epidemiology of malocclusion in Argentine children. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1986;14:221-4.  Back to cited text no. 15
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18.Foster TD, Walpole AJ. A survey of malocclusion and the need for orthodontic treatment in a Shropshire school population. Br J Orthod 1974;1:73-8.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Burgersdijk RC, Truin GJ, Mulder J, Frankenmolen F, Kalsbeek H, van't Hof M. Malocclusion and orthodontic treatment needs of 1574 years Old Dutch adults. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1991;19:64-7.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.AlEmran S, Wisth PJ, Boe OE. Prevalence of malocclusion and need for orthodontic treatment in Saudi Arabia. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1990;18:253-5.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Jenny J. Differences in need for orthodontic treatment between native Americans and the general population based on DAI scores. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1991;21:78-83.  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Ansai T, Miyazaki H, Katoh Y, Yamashita Y, Takehara T, Jenny J, et al. Prevalence of malocclusion in high school students in Japan according to DAI. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1993;21:30-35.  Back to cited text no. 22
23.McLain JB, Proffitt WR. Oral health status in the United States: Prevalence of malocclusion. J Dent Educ 1985;49:386-96.  Back to cited text no. 23
24.Abdullah MS, Rock WP. Assessment of orthodontic treatment needs in 5122 Malaysian children using the IOTN and DAI indices. Community Dent Health 2001;18:24-28  Back to cited text no. 24
25.Marques CR. Assessment of orthodontic treatment needs in a Brazilian School children according to the DAI. Community Dental Health 2007;24:145-8.  Back to cited text no. 25

Correspondence Address:
V K Bhardwaj
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, H. P. Government Dental College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.90296

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]

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