Journal Article

The Aesthetic Component of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need validated against lay opinion

Orlagh Hunt, Peter Hepper, Chris Johnston, Mike Stevenson and Donald Burden

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 24, issue 1, pages 53-59
Published in print February 2002 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online February 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
The Aesthetic Component of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need validated against lay opinion

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This study aimed to determine the threshold of aesthetic impairment where orthodontic treatment would be sought by a sample of lay people. Using the 10‐grade Aesthetic Component (AC) scale of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN), 215 university students selected the level of aesthetic impairment that represented the point at which they would seek orthodontic treatment.

Only nine (4.3 per cent) of the respondents recorded a threshold grade beyond grade 5 in the AC. The AC photograph grade 4 was found to be the most commonly selected threshold photograph. Subjects who visited the dentist every 6 months were more likely to choose a threshold photograph closer to the attractive end of the scale than those who visited their dentist less frequently (P < 0.01).

This study, using lay people rather than dental health professionals, suggests that as currently used the AC does not reflect society's aesthetic expectations. The results indicate that when using the AC of the IOTN the ‘no need for treatment’ category should be grades 1–3 of the AC, rather than grades 1–4.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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