Malocclusion, dental caries and perceptions of aesthetics and function: an study of association

  • Cristiano Moura
  • Alessandro Leite Cavalcanti
Keywords: dental caries, malocclusion, epidemiology


Assessment of malocclusion is important for documentation of the prevalence and severity of malocclusion in population groups. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of malocclusion and caries in children aged 12 years and to investigate whether a relationship exists between prevalence of caries and studied malocclusion. The relationship between severity of malocclusion and perceptions of aesthetics and function of teeth also was assessed. Eighty-eigth schoolchildren (45 boys and 43 girls) were randomly selected, none of them had received previous orthodontic treatment. One examiner assessed the students using the Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI) for malocclusion and DMFT for dental caries according World Health Organization (WHO). Subjects were also asked to complete a questionnaire consisting of two questions concerning appearance and function of teeth. For statistical analysis chi-square test and Fisher exact were used. No positive correlation between prevalence of caries and malocclusion could be stablished as well as between chewing and severity of malocclusion (p > 0.05). However, statistically significant correlation were found between appearance of teeth (p < 0.01) and scores of DAI. There are different degrees of objectively defined occlusal problems acceptable in the sample of students and that could interfere with their decision to seek treatment and have a direct impact on the need of care. Subjective measures should be incorporated to clinical criteria currently used. UNITERMS: dental caries; malocclusion; epidemiology.
Original Article