To examine the relationship between the Index of Complexity, Outcome and Need (ICON) and the subjective opinions of patients attending for routine dental care.
Materials and methods
This study was undertaken at two general dental practices in Cardiff and Bedford. 50 patients aged between 11–14 years and 50 patients aged 30–40 years presenting for routine dental treatment were selected in each. The subjects were assessed objectively using the ICON guidelines by two examiners trained and calibrated in the use of this index. The scores were recorded directly from the patient. Subjective assessments were obtained from the patients by means of a questionnaire consisting of four simple questions addressing aesthetics, function, speech and treatment need using a five point Likert scale.
The mean ICON scores for the different genders and age groups participating in this study were; 11–14 year old males 58.4 (SE 3.17); 11–14 year old females 51.8 (SE 3.51); 30–40 year old males 51.2 (SE 2.70); 30–40 year old females 45.3 (SE 2.56). There were statistically significant differences in ICON scores between the younger and older groups (P = 0.024) and females and males (P = 0.04). Adult patients were more likely to reject treatment than younger patients. Analysis of the professional scores in relation to subjective assessments, using the Spearman rank correlation coefficient, for 11–14 and 30–40 year olds, and for the male and female genders, revealed that the ICON has a significant correlation with patients' perceptions of aesthetics, function, speech and treatment need (r2 = 0.01 to 0.28). The only exceptions were patients' perceptions of speech in the 30-40 year old group, and function in the female gender, which did not show a statistically significant correlation to the professional assessments.
In this study, the ICON was found to correlate with patients' opinions of aesthetics, function, speech and treatment need. The strength of association, however, was low. It can be concluded that the ICON alone is not necessarily a suitable predictor for appearance, function, speech or treatment need for those individuals attending general dental practice for routine dental care. In combination with a simple question to assess the patient's desire for treatment, the shared decision for any particular individual to enter the treatment process can be determined.
Malocclusion is a continuum ranging from ideal occlusion to considerable deviation from normal
Severity of malocclusion (how far a malocclusion deviates from normal) can be measured objectively using occlusal indices
Demand for orthodontic treatment results from an individuals desire to seek treatment because of a perceived problem with the dentition and/or surrounding structures
The need and demand for orthodontic treatment can fluctuate through the individuals life caused by 'life cycle events' including change in wealth and social conditions
Need and demand are also influenced by dental development, facial growth, facial changes and social awareness.
The relationship between Index of Complexity, Outcome and Need, and patients' perceptions of malocclusion: a study in general dental practice by A-R Koochek, M. Shue-Te Yeh, B. Rolfe and S. Richmond Br Dent J 2001; 191: 325–329