Interceptive orthodontic treatment need among children attending dental clinics in the Tygerberg sub-district
Marais, Amanda Karien
MetadataShow full item record
Background In the Western-Cape province, orthodontic treatment provided to government patients is limited to tertiary hospitals such as the Tygerberg Oral Health Centre (TOHC). This results in growing waiting lists which place a huge strain on resources of the facility. Objectives To determine: 1. The prevalence of malocclusion among 7-to-10-year-old children examined at dental clinics within the Tygerberg sub-district. 2. The types of malocclusion they present with. 3. Which of these malocclusions can be treated with interceptive orthodontic treatment. Methods An analytical, descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out and quantitative methods were used to achieve the aim and objectives. The study sample consisted of 100 children, 46 male and 54 female, from Bellville and Bishop Lavis dental clinics. Dental examinations were done by one examiner on children between the ages of 7 and 10 years. Dental problems were identified which, if left untreated, could result in the need for more complex orthodontic treatment at a later stage. All the necessary ethical clearance was obtained. Results The results showed that there is a very large interceptive orthodontic treatment need (79%) at these clinics. A large proportion (70%) presented with detrimental habits. Thumbsucking was more prevalent among girls than boys. Other problems like mouthbreathing, lip wedging, deep bite, asymmetrical mobility of primary teeth, rotated lateral incisors and crossbites were found. The biggest concern was that 71% of the children had early loss of primary teeth and only 5% of children received restorations, resulting in a high prevalence of unfavourable molar relationships. All of these should be addressed early, thereby preventing the development of complex orthodontic problems or skeletal discrepancies. iv Conclusion Interceptive and preventive orthodontic treatment should be regarded as a primary health centre service, as it may reduce the need for costly fixed orthodontic treatment. The study showed that urgent intervention is necessary from the Department of Health to address this issue.