Journal Article

The impact of hypodontia: a qualitative study on the experiences of patients

S. Meaney, L. Anweigi, H. Ziada and F. Allen

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 34, issue 5, pages 547-552
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
The impact of hypodontia: a qualitative study on the experiences of patients

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Congenital absence of teeth affects 2–6 per cent of the population, but its impact on quality of life (QoL) is not fully understood. The symptoms of hypodontia can vary and therefore also the treatment and management of this condition. Determining and understanding the possible impact of hypodontia on patients could inform and improve the management of such patients.

A purposive sample of 10 participants aged 16–25 years (five males and five females) with mild, moderate, or severe hypodontia at various stages of treatment was recruited. The participants had previously completed a 49-item Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) questionnaire with summary scores ranging from 24 to 143. All subjects participated in semi-structured interviews, and these were transcribed and analysed using NVivo software.

The results show that the role of hypodontia patients in the treatment decision-making process changes significantly as they move from childhood to adulthood. Participants indicated dissatisfaction with the lack of communication with dental services throughout early adolescence as they became more cognizant of their condition which in turn led to concerns with regard to appearance which impacted on their psychosocial well-being.

Hypodontia patients expect improved communication with dental practitioners and services as they become more cognizant of their condition and wish to become more actively involved in the decision-making process regarding their current and future treatment.

Journal Article.  4325 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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