The association of subjective orthodontic treatment need with oral health-related quality of life.Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2017 08; 45(4):365-371.CD
The existing body of evidence reports an inconsistent association between subjective and objective orthodontic treatment need. The concept of oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) might help to explain the differences in subjective and objective orthodontic treatment need. Our aim was to investigate the association of subjective orthodontic treatment with OHRQoL in children.
This cross-sectional study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study. OHRQoL and subjective orthodontic treatment need were assessed by parental questionnaires. Questionnaire items were individually compared among children with no, borderline and definite subjective orthodontic need. The association between subjective orthodontic treatment need and OHRQoL was investigated in multivariate regression analysis with weighted least squares. Differences by sex and levels of objective orthodontic treatment need were evaluated.
In total, 3774 children were included in the analysis. Children with borderline subjective orthodontic treatment need and those with definite subjective orthodontic treatment need had significantly poorer OHRQoL based on the fully adjusted model (adjusted regression coefficient (aβ)=-0.49, 95% CI: -0.75, -0.30; (aβ)=-1.58, 95% CI: -1.81, -1.58, respectively). The association between subjective orthodontic treatment need and OHRQoL was stronger in girls than in boys and stronger in children with objective orthodontic treatment need than in those with none.
Oral health-related quality of life is poorer in children with subjective orthodontic treatment need. This has not been investigated before in such a large-population-based study and clearly offers an explanation for the lack of concurrence between objective and subjective orthodontic treatment need.