Consistency of orthodontic treatment planning decisions

Clin Orthod Res. 1999 May;2(2):79-84. doi: 10.1111/ocr.1999.2.2.79.


Objective: (i) To analyse the consistency of a group of orthodontists' treatment decisions and (ii) to identify factors that may influence this consistency.

Design: Cross-sectional observational study.

Subjects: Ten orthodontists.

Methods: The orthodontists examined 60 case vignettes and recorded their treatment decisions on two separate occasions.

Main measure: Inter- and intra-examiner agreement was evaluated with the Kappa statistic.

Results: The consistency within each orthodontist was moderate. However, between-orthodontist consistency was poor.

Conclusion: It appears that there is marked variation between orthodontists in treatment planning decisions and this may reflect the lack of evidence for the effectiveness of competing treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cephalometry
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Decision Making*
  • Dental Models
  • Humans
  • Malocclusion / diagnosis
  • Malocclusion / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Orthodontics, Corrective / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Care Planning / statistics & numerical data*
  • Photography, Dental
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiography, Panoramic