Acceptability of adolescents' occlusion in Finnish municipal health centres with differing timing of orthodontic treatment

Ilpo Pietilä, Terttu Pietilä, Anna-Liisa Svedström-Oristo, Juha Varrela, Pentti Alanen
European Journal of Orthodontics 2010, 32 (2): 186-92
The objective of the study was to compare the acceptability of occlusion among orthodontically treated and untreated adolescents in eight Finnish municipal health centres applying different timing of treatment. A random sample of 16- and 18-year olds (n = 2325) living in these municipalities was invited for a clinical examination, and 1109 adolescents participated. Two calibrated orthodontists blindly examined the participants for the acceptability of occlusion with the Occlusal Morphology and Function Index. The history of orthodontic treatment was elicited by questionnaire. The impact of the history and timing of treatment on the acceptability of occlusion was analysed with logistic regression analysis. The history of orthodontic treatment decreased the odds for acceptability of morphology [odds ratio (OR) = 0.719, 95 per cent confidence limit (CL), P = 0.016] and acceptability of function (OR = 0.724, 95 per cent CL, P = 0.018). The early timing of treatment increased the odds for acceptability of morphology (OR = 1.370, 95 per cent CL, P = 0.042) and of function (OR = 1.420, 95 per cent CL, P = 0.023). No substantial differences were observed in the acceptability of occlusion between the early and late timing health centres. However, the proportion of subjects with acceptable occlusion was slightly higher in the early than in the late timing group. These findings suggest that when examining the effect of timing on treatment outcome, factors other than acceptability of occlusion should be concomitantly evaluated. Consequently, in this context, the duration and cost of treatment need to be investigated.

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