The orthodontic condition of children in the United Kingdom 2003

Alexander Morris, NM Nuttall, NB Pitts, J Steele, D Burden, IG Chestnutt

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BACKGROUND: The 2003 Children's Dental Health Survey is the fourth in a series of decennial national children's dental health surveys in the United Kingdom. AIMS: This paper reports on the orthodontic condition of children aged 12 and 15 years. METHODOLOGY: A representative sample of children across the UK were invited to participate in a clinical dental examination in school. Two thousand, five hundred and ninety-five 12-year-olds and 2,142 15-year-olds were examined. Current and past orthodontic treatment and type of appliance worn were recorded. Orthodontic treatment need was assessed by the Modified IOTN in those not undergoing treatment. A postal questionnaire sought parents' views on the orthodontic condition of their children and perceived need for treatment. RESULTS: At age 12, 35% were judged to have an orthodontic treatment need, 57% had no need and 8% were wearing an appliance. The corresponding figures at age 15 were, 21% (need), 65% (no need) and 14% (wearing appliance). A higher proportion of girls (p <0.05) were wearing an appliance than boys. A greater proportion of 15-year-olds were undergoing treatment than in the 1993 and 1983 surveys and the use of fixed appliances had increased. CONCLUSIONS: In this representative sample of UK children, one in five were still judged as having an orthodontic treatment need at age 15 years, as determined by the modified index of orthodontic treatment need. However, considerable variation was observed between professional and lay perceptions of need.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2006


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