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Aims: To evaluate orthodontic treatment eligibility and appropriateness of new orthodontic referrals made by the general dental practitioners (GDPs) to the Specialist Orthodontic Unit, National Dental Centre (NDC) for orthodontic assessment from government dental clinics in Brunei-Muara district using Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) as an objective measure.
Material and Methods: Patients’ data were collected from Brunei Health Information Management Systems (Bru-HIMS) for one-year period from 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018. From this patient pool, a total of 147 patients who underwent orthodontic assessment were identified. The data collected were imported to RStudio to perform appropriate statistical analyses.
Results: Of 147 new patient referrals, 72.1% were female and 27.9% were male, with a mean age of 18.3 years (SD ± 5.8 years). Patients with age range of 9 to 39 years were evaluated. A total of 87.8% of new patient referrals were eligible under IOTN. The predominant incisor relationship referred was class II division 1 (33.3%) and the prevalence of class III was high at 30.6%. The most common malocclusion trait referred was a severe dental contact point displacements >4 mm, grade 4d (53.1%).
Conclusion: A total of 87.8% of new patient referrals were deemed eligible by specialist orthodontists utilizing IOTN. A total of 83.7% of new patient referrals were in a definite need for orthodontic treatment. It is highly recommended for general dental practitioners to have training in utilizing IOTN and necessitate establishment of proper referral guidelines.
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