Background of the study: Assessment of orthodontic treatment need and demand helps in planning orthodontic services and estimating the required resources and man power. The aim of this study was to assess the orthodontic treatment need and demand and to assess the association between the orthodontic treatment demand and factors such as ITON, gender, and age.
Materials and methods: Treatment need was assessed using the DHC and AC of IOTN among 12- and 16-year-old Malay school children. The treatment demand was also assessed through a modified health questionnaire and its association with IOTN, age, and gender. A total number of 837 Malay school children were randomly recruited (389 males and 448 females divided into two age groups; 12-year olds; and 16-year olds).
Results: Findings showed that 51.4% of 12-year-old school children had definite need for treatment (DHC>4) while 22% of them desired treatment. Among 16-year-old subjects, 56.4% showed definite need for treatment while 47.2% desired treatment. The 16-year-old group was more interested in orthodontic treatment than the 12-year-old group (P<0.001). Only age was associated with treatment demand while gender had no effect (P>0.05).
Conclusion: There is a high level of need for treatment among Malay school children which was not associated with orthodontic demand. Age was associated with orthodontic demand.