Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Prevalence of malocclusion among 12 year-old school children in Lagos State

DC Umesi Koleoso, IL Utomi, KO Savage


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of dentofacial anomalies presenting as malocclusion in 12 year-old Nigerian school children in the Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria.

Methodology: The study, which involved a sample of 200 children, was carried out employing the World Health Organization Pathfinder Methodology for oral health surveys. Malocclusion was recorded as being absent, slight or moderate/severe based on the WHO criteria as outlined in the methodology.

Results: Sixty-eight per cent (68%) of the children had normal occlusion i.e. absence of malocclusion. Slight malocclusion was present in 22%, while 10% had moderate to severe malocclusion. There was no sex predilection for malocclusion. Among the ethnic groups, there was no significant difference in prevalence of malocclusion.

Conclusion: In view of the handicapping effects of dentofacial anomalies, which tend to affect a person's aesthetics, masticatory function, speech and indeed social acceptability, there is a need to institute measures, which would help in the prevention of some of the malocclusion types seen in the study. The establishment of school oral healthcare programme, which would also provide preventive orthodontic care, is advocated. However, the small number seen among some ethnic groups precludes the extrapolation of this finding to the larger population. There is a need to carry out national surveys.
KEY WORDS: Malocclusion; 12 year-old children; Ethnic groups; Lagos State
Journal of Community Medicine & Primary Health Care Vol.16(2) 2004: 43-46
AJOL African Journals Online