Orthodontic treatment need in a 12-year-old population in the Western Sahara

Eur J Orthod. 2011 Aug;33(4):377-80. doi: 10.1093/ejo/cjq086. Epub 2010 Oct 6.


The aim of this study was to establish orthodontic treatment need according to the Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI) and Aesthetic Component (AC) and Dental Health Component (DHC) of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) and to determine its association with gender among Saharan schoolchildren. The study was carried out in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for oral health surveys at 12 years of age. The sample comprised 248 Sahrawi children (135 girls and 113 boys) living in refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. None of the children had previously received any orthodontic treatment. A chi-square test was used to analyse the IOTN results by gender, and a Student's t-test was employed for the DAI results. The mean DAI was 23.32 with a standard deviation of 6.05, 4 percent with a very severe and 9.2 per cent with severe malocclusion. Orthodontic treatment need was 16.1 and 2.0 percent, respectively, according to grades 4 and 5 of the IOTN DHC, 13.7 percent according to the IOTN AC, and 28.6 percent according to the modified IOTN (IOTN DHC grades 4-5 and/or IOTN AC grades 8-10). There were no statistically significant differences by gender. The orthodontic treatment need of Western Saharan schoolchildren is similar to that reported by many recent studies in European and in Sub-Saharan countries.

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Northern / epidemiology
  • Calibration
  • Child
  • Esthetics, Dental
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need*
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / classification
  • Malocclusion / epidemiology*
  • Needs Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors