Perception of dental professionals and laypersons to altered mandibular incisors crowding
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Anterior dental crowding is one of the most frequently occurring malocclusions. Both the dental professionals and the general public are critical in evaluating the esthetics of a person by observing the alignment of the anterior teeth. Mandibular anterior dental crowding is one of the most complicated situations bothering both dental professionals and patients even after a period of retention. However, no report documents the perception of the dental professionals and the general public to the lower anterior crowding. The purpose of this present study was to investigate at what level of misalignment of the lower incisors the dental professionals and lay people begin to recognize dental crowding from the ideal alignment A mandibular occlusal photograph of a finished orthodontic treatment case according to the requirements and standards of the American Board of Orthodontics treated at an orthodontic clinic was used in this study. This photograph was altered intentionally to mimic varying degrees of dental misalignment in the lower anterior teeth by rotation of the individual incisors from 0.5 mm to 2.0 mm at 0.5 mm intervals according to Little's irregularity Index. An Internet web page with a total of 16 dental malalignment photos was used to complete a survey by seven groups of participants. These groups are orthodontists, orthodontic residents, other dental specialists, general dentists, dental students, lay people who have or have had orthodontic treatment and lastly lay people who have never had orthodontic treatment. The participants completed the survey by rating each of the photos with a score from 1 to 5. The data were analyzed by using Univariate Analysis of variance. The findings showed that when rating the lower incisor alignment: 1) the orthodontists were most critical than the other groups followed by orthodontic residents and general dentists groups, 2) orthodontists detected the rotation of the central incisor at 1 mm, however, orthodontic residents, other dental specialists, general dentists and orthodontic patients detected the rotation at 1.5 mm. 3) the rotation of the lateral incisor was detected by dental professionals at 1mm while patients detected the rotation at 1.5 mm and the lay people detected the rotation at 2 mm. These results provide orthodontic professionals essential information that may help to determine how much dental crowding the general public is willing to accept without treatment or accept after a limited relapse.