Assessment of malocclusion in pre-school children in Benin City using the incisor classification of malocclusion.


This study was aimed at analysing the incisors as a means of classifying malocclusion in pre-school children Incisal classification is not common but is a simple and reliable means of assessing malocclusion, especially in pre-school children. The classification is mainly used to describe the incisal relationship of cases in verbal and written communication between clinicians. Angle's classification holds when the first permanent molars are in place, but in the pre-school child, between the ages of 2-4 years, the first permanent molars may not have erupted. The methods of classifying malocclusion in pre-school children carried out by Foster and Hamilton (1969) and Baume (1950) took into consideration other parameters without the use of the incisors as a means of classifying malocclusion. The incisor classification would then be a more reliable means of analyzing the malocclusion and evaluating the need for early management. A sample of 505 pre-school children between the ages of 2-4 years of age were randomly selected from day care centres and pre-schools in three local government areas of Benin City, Edo State. The incisors were examined and classified using the British Standard Classification of Malocclusion. The results showed that the incisal Class I malocclusion was seen in 90.6% Class II in 2.4% (class II div 1 in 1.8% and class II div 2 in 0.6%) and the incisal class III in 7% of the total sample studied. The 4-year-old age group exhibited a higher frequency of malocclusion in the Class I, Class II div 1 and Class III groups, and showed no significant decrease with age (P > 0.05). Girls showed a higher frequency for a tendency to malocclusion than boys. Our findings show that the most common type of malocclusion seen in pre-school children is the incisal class I, followed by the incisal class III with the class II having the smallest number. The assessment of malocclusion using the incisal classification was fast and easy to use, and was able to detect those children that would require treatment later on. The importance of early detection of malocclusion as regards those that present a functional and aesthetic problem (class II and III) especially in pre-school children is suggested, in order to permit effective and long term planning, according to the child's individual requirements.

Cite this paper

@article{IzeIyamu2006AssessmentOM, title={Assessment of malocclusion in pre-school children in Benin City using the incisor classification of malocclusion.}, author={I N Ize-Iyamu and Alice A Umweni}, journal={African journal of medicine and medical sciences}, year={2006}, volume={35 3}, pages={325-8} }