Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Knowledge about prevalence, severity & distribution of malocclusion is important for planning, organizing and implementing orthodontic services.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess prevalence of malocclusion and to determine orthodontic treatment needs.
Methods: Sample consisted of 1600 children (831 boys and 769 girls) 12-15 years from four high schools of Belgaum city (Karnataka). The children were selected by two stage random sampling method. The Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI) was used to assess malocclusion status and orthodontic treatment needs. Data were collected according to method recommended by W.H.O.
Results: Most of the children (88.6%) had a dental appearance which required no orthodontic treatment. Over 6.8% had a definite malocclusion where treatment was considered 'elective'. However, a specific proportion (4.6%) of the children had a severe to handicapping malocclusion where treatment was
'highly desirable' or 'mandatory'. There were no statistically significant differences (p>0.05) in DAI scores between age groups and gender.
Conclusion: This study found that children had better dental appearance and lesser treatment need.