Malocclusal traits can impair dental health and aesthetical appearance. The index of orthodontic treatment need (IOTN) identifies the patients who benefit the most from orthodontic treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the malocclusion frequencies and the orthodontic treatment need among Austrian children in the mixed dentition stage, since there is no pre-existing data from Austria.
In the present study, 157 children aged between 8 and 10 years were examined. Following an anamnesis questionnaire, which included a question about the parents’ perceived treatment need, the children were examined clinically and dental impressions were taken. The sagittal molar relationship, overjet, overbite and the presence of cross- or scissor bite were registered. The treatment need was assessed using the dental health component (DHC) of the index of orthodontic treatment need (IOTN).
64.3% (95% CI [56.8, 71.8]) of the children showed Angle class I molar relation, 33.1% (95% CI [25.8, 40.5]) class II and 2.5% (95% CI [0.1, 5.0]) Angle class III relation. Crossbite was found in 36.3% (95% CI [28.8, 43.8]) of the participants. A treatment need for medical reasons (IOTN 4 or 5) was found in 30.6% (95% CI [23.4, 37.8]). There was no statistically significant relationship between objective treatment need and the parents’ perception.
The malocclusion frequencies and the treatment need assessed in the present study appeared to be comparable to those assessed in other countries. The data supports the opinion that orthodontic screening is important and necessary at this stage of dental development, also due to the discordance between objective and perceived treatment need.

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