3508 Orthodontic Treatment Needs in Appalachian Youth and their Parents
C.A. MARTIN1, D.W. MCNEIL1, R.J. CROUT1, S. LAWRENCE1, and R.J. WEYANT2, 1West Virginia University, Morgantown, USA, 2University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Objectives: Appalachian and other rural populations suffer in having a disproportionate amount of health and oral health problems. Relatively little is known about the occlusal status in this historically isolated, relatively homogenous population, including the youth. This study was designed to provide information about orthodontic treatment needs in this group.

Methods: There were 42 youth (age range 12 - 17) and one or both of their biological parents (n=55) who were randomly selected from patients of an Appalachian health clinic for participation in a research protocol involving various behavioral and oral health measures, including an orthodontic examination. Angle's system was used to classify patients; an index of treatment need was recorded, as was current or past orthodontic treatment status.

Results: Of the 42 youngsters, 25 were identified as needing orthodontic care. An additional 5 were either currently in treatment or had been in treatment in the past. Significantly more youngsters needed treatment than were receiving it, C2(1)=13.3, p < .001. The remaining 17 youngsters were judged to have no orthodontic needs. Of the 25 young people requiring care, 13 were evaluated as having a Class I occlusion, and 12 as having a Class II occlusion. Of the 55 parents, only 1 had ever received orthodontic care. There were 14 of these adults who had full or partial dentures; an additional 5 were partially or completely edentulous, with no prosthodontic aids.

Conclusions: There is a great deal of unmet orthodontic treatment need in this Appalachian sample. Less than 20% of those youngsters requiring treatment are receiving it. This disparity in receiving treatment has profound psychosocial and oral health implications, which potentially are lifelong.

Seq #319 - Appearance, Perceived Needs, and Orthodontics
11:00 AM-12:15 PM, Saturday, 9 March 2002 San Diego Convention Center Exhibit Hall C

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