The prevalence of malocclusion is certainly greater in adults.
It may be stated that malocclusion is directly proportional to age, and that its characteristics reflect the good or poor care of all teeth, since the early deciduous dentition.
In Brazil, we have the first generation with a significant number of individuals that reach adulthood and begin to age with all or nearly all teeth in the mouth.
Therefore, similar to socially developed countries, they start to present malocclusion characterized by tooth crowding.
Proffit conducted a study based on an epidemiological survey of NIH to determine the prevalence of malocclusion and orthodontic treatment need in the American population, which revealed that, in general, 70% of adult patients have malocclusions with an objective treatment need, a value that has been considered a consensus in the literature.
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Individuals with tooth crowding equal to or smaller than 3.5 mm and alterations in molar relationship that did not cause significant changes in esthetics and occlusion were considered as normal.
That is to say, these individuals would not have an objective treatment need, yet this does not rule out the subjective need which is increasingly significant in the Western population, including our country.
The number of adult patients searching for orthodontic treatment has been increasingly greater. American data from the early 1990s demonstrate that the percentage of adult patients in specialized orthodontic clinics was 30% and this percentage was expected to increase until the end of the decade.
Leopoldino Capelozza Filho / Maria Fernanda Barros Aranha / Terumi Okada Ozawa / Arlete de Oliveira Cavassan