An evaluation of the psychological and social effects of malocclusion: some implications for dental policy making

P Kenealy, N Frude, W Shaw

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Initial findings are reported from a longitudinal study investigating the effects of malocclusion on dental health and psychological well-being and the effectiveness of orthodontic treatment. Implicit in the orthodontic intervention decision process is the view that there are discernible social and psychological benefits of good occlusion. This view has not been adequately validated. The primary psychological question addressed by this study concerns the relationship between adolescents' orthodontic status and their psychological status and well-being. Empirical evidence allowed an examination of the major hypothesis that children with poor occlusion are likely to be socially and psychologically disadvantaged. Ratings of dental status and physical attractiveness, and measures of psychosocial well-being were obtained for sample of 1018, 11-12-year-old children and the associations between these variables were examined. The results provide little support for the major hypothesis that children 'suffer' psychologically from having poor dentition. Several points of caution are made with regard to this conclusion and some implications for dental policy making are considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)583-91
    Number of pages491
    JournalSoc Sci Med
    Volume28
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1989

    Keywords

    • Adolescent
    • Child
    • Follow-Up Studies
    • *Health Policy
    • Humans
    • Longitudinal Studies
    • Malocclusion/*psychology
    • *Oral Health
    • Orthodontics, Corrective/*psychology
    • Prospective Studies
    • Psychosocial Deprivation
    • Self Concept
    • Wales

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