Assessing the correlation between malocclusion and lowered psychosocial well-being
INTRODUCTION: Orthodontic treatment can include physical and/or psychosocial elements in addition to straightening teeth. OBJECTIVE: Of importance to this study was to explore the correlation between malocclusion and psychosocial well-being from the perspective of younger patients, their caregivers, through the inclusion of normative criteria. MATERIALS & METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was employed. Data was collected at a single point in time from a sample of prospective patients. Eighty-six patients and their caregivers met the inclusion criteria and were asked to complete the questionnaires. The mean age of patients included in the study was 13.57 +/- 1.57 years (55 females and 31 males). Data was collected through clinical exams. Patients were assessed using the dental and aesthetic component grades of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). RESULTS: Caregivers’ satisfaction with the patient’s body image correlated with the patients’ satisfaction with their body image (p<0.05). Caregivers' satisfaction with tooth appearance correlated with the IOTN aesthetic component grade (p<0.05). As the satisfaction score increases (reflecting overall dissatisfaction with body image), the more likely that the patient actually needs treatment. There is no significant correlation between patients’ satisfaction with their teeth and IOTN dental and aesthetic component grades (p>0.05). Caregivers' motivation, in comparison to the patients’ motivations to seek orthodontic treatment was significant (p<0.05). No significant gender differences were found with regards to being bullied about dental appearance (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: Malocclusion does impact perceptions of psychosocial well-being.