Journal Article

Comparison of intra-oral and study cast measurements in the assessment of malocclusion

Maja Ovsenik, Franc M. Farcnik and Ivan Verdenik

in European Journal of Orthodontics

Volume 26, issue 3, pages 273-277
Published in print June 2004 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online June 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/26.3.273
Comparison of intra-oral and study cast measurements in the assessment of malocclusion

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Malocclusion assessment methods are based on registrations and measurements made on study casts, which requires that impressions be taken. In addition to being costly and time-consuming, this process can be unpleasant for very young children. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of intra-oral measurements that compute a malocclusion index score to determine malocclusion severity in the mixed dentition. The research was part of a longitudinal study in Slovenia on a sample of 530 3-year-old children. At 8 years of age (mean 8.5 years, standard deviation 0.2), a cohort of 101 children (44 boys, 57 girls) was randomly selected in a cross-sectional study. Quantitative registrations of space and occlusal anomalies were performed intra-orally as well as on study casts. Kappa (κ) statistics were used to evaluate the agreement between clinical and study cast malocclusion assessments. Systematic bias of measurements was tested using Wilcoxon's signed rank test.

The results showed complete agreement between the two measurements for anterior crossbite, anterior open bite and overjet scores (κ = 1); excellent reliability for the buccal segment relationship (κ = 0.93), transverse occlusion of posterior teeth (κ = 0.87); and substantial agreement for overbite (κ = 0.79) and midline deviation (κ = 0.71). For the remainder of the traits the agreement was moderate: rotation of incisors (κ = 0.58), crowding of upper incisors (κ = 0.51), axial inclination of teeth (κ = 0.44) and lower incisor crowding (κ = 0.41). Intra-orally small, but statistically significant scoring of lower incisor rotation and crowding was identified. On the study casts the most favourable axial inclination was found for buccal segment occlusion. Overall classification into severity grades, based on the total malocclusion score, showed excellent agreement between the two methods (κ = 0.89), without statistically significant bias.

Malocclusion assessment, recorded and measured intra-orally, is as reliable as assessment on study casts. The proposed method can be used in screening, in epidemiological studies and in clinical orthodontic assessment.

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Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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