A preliminary evaluation of pre-treatment hypodontia patients using the Dental Aesthetic Index. How does it compare with other commonly used indices?

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There is currently no specific occlusal index related to hypodontia and there is a paucity of published literature on this subject. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship, if any, between the Peer Assessment Rating (PAR) Index, the Index of Complexity, Outcome and Need (ICON), and the Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI) score and the severity of hypodontia. All new patients attending the Newcastle Dental Hospital hypodontia clinic between February 2002 and March 2003 were included in the study. Of the 60 patients, two were excluded as the models were unavailable and one because they were predominantly in the primary dentition, making scoring impractical. The patient casts were scored with respect to PAR, ICON, and DAI. The mean patient age at presentation was 12 years, with a standard deviation of 1.89 and a range of 9–16 years, and a female to male ratio of 1.1:1.

A significant positive correlation, using Kendall tau b, was found between the number of missing teeth, excluding third molars, and the DAI score (τ=0.215, P=0.027). There was no significant positive correlation between PAR (τ=−0.186, P=0.056) and ICON (τ=0.017, P=0.861) score and the number of missing teeth. The results of this investigation indicate that further research is required in order to assess if the DAI could be used to determine whether or not to refer hypodontia patients for specialist advice.

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