Journal Article

Lay attitudes to dental appearance and need for orthodontic treatment

Arild Stenvik, Lisen Espeland, Brita O. Linge and Leif Linge

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 19, issue 3, pages 271-277
Published in print June 1997 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online June 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Lay attitudes to dental appearance and need for orthodontic treatment

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In provision of advice about aesthetic treatment need, visual stimuli as a tool in communication may have some advantages compared with verbal descriptions, in particular when children are addressed. The Aesthetic Component (AC) of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need is an illustrated scale for rating of dental attractiveness developed in the UK and based on lay adults' ratings of dehtal photographs. This scale has also been recommended for use in patient education. The purpose of the present study was to establish a sociocultural standard of reference for Norway related to the AC, in order to examine the applicability of the scale as a tool in patient information.

Samples of 137 children, 126 of their parents and 98 young adults were shown the 10 photographs comprising the AC. The subjects were asked to assess the photographs for dental attractiveness and orthodontic treatment need on a four-category rating scale. The findings indicated that, in general, photographs with an increasing scale point were rated as increasingly more unattractive. The majority (80–100 per cent) of the parents and young adults rated the five photographs on the unattractive end of the scale to be in need of treatment. The children were significantly less critical in their aesthetic judgements.

Photographs representing borderline need, identified for these groups to be scale points 5 and 6, have a potential in guiding patients and parents in making informed decisions about aesthetic treatment need.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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