Prevalence of Malocclusion and Orthodontic Treatment Need in Children and Adolescents in Bogota, Columbia


The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of malocclusion in a population of Bogotanian children and adolescents in terms of different degrees of severity in relation to sex and specific stages of dental development, in order to evaluate the need for orthodontic treatment  in  this  part  of  Colombia.  A  sample  of  4724  children  (5-17  years  of  age)  was randomly  selected from  a population  that  attended  the  Dental  Health  Service;  none  had been orthodontically treated. Based on their dental stages the  subjects were grouped into deciduous, early mixed, late mixed and permanent dentition. The registrations were performed according  to  a  method  by  Bjork  et  al.  (1964).  The  need  for  orthodontic  treatment  was evaluated according to an index used by the Swedish National Board of Health.

The results showed that 88 percent of the subjects had some type of anomaly, from mild to severe, half of them recorded as occlusal anomalies, one-third as space discrepancies, and one-fifth as dental anomalies. No clear sex differences were noted, except for maxillary overjet, spacing,  tooth  size  (all  more  frequent  in  boys),  and  crowding  (more  frequent  in  girls). Occlusal  anomalies  and space discrepancies  varied in the different  dental  developmental periods, as did  tipped and rotated teeth.

Little  need for  orthodontic  treatment  was found  in  35  percent  and  moderate  need  in 30 percent. A great need was estimated in 20 percent, comprising children with pre-normal occlusion, maxillary overjet, or overbite (>6 mm), posterior unilateral crossbite with midline deviation  (>2 mm),  severe  crowding  or  spacing,  congenitally  missing  maxillary  incisors, impacted maxillary canines or anterior open bite (>3 mm  in the permanent dentition). Urgent need for treatment was estimated to be 3 percent, comprising subjects with extreme post­ and pre-normal occlusion, impacted maxillary incisors or extensive aplasia.