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J Public Health Dent. 2012 Spring;72(2):94-103. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2011.00288.x. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Medicaid and privately financed orthodontic patients have similar occlusal and psychosocial outcomes.

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University of Washington, School of Dentistry, Seattle, WA, USA.



This study compares occlusal and psychosocial outcomes from comprehensive orthodontic treatment in Medicaid (MC) and privately financed (private pay, PP) patients.


Two cohorts received comprehensive orthodontics: MC (n = 66); PP (n = 60). A calibrated, blinded examiner scored dental casts at baseline (pretreatment, T1) and after completing 2 years of treatment (posttreatment, T2) using the Peer Assessment Rating (PAR) and the Index of Complexity, Outcome, and Need (ICON). The prevalence of patients in the validated ICON categories for treatment need, complexity, and improvement were calculated. Questionnaires to assess body image (BI) and expectations/experiences were administered. Occlusal measures at T2 were compared after adjustment for baseline characteristics. Psychosocial measures were compared between and within groups. Occlusal and psychosocial associations were evaluated.


MC was 1.3 years younger (P < 0.001) and had worse malocclusions at baseline (PAR 32 versus 25; P < 0.001); (ICON 64 versus 56; P = 0.06). After adjustment for age and initial severity, estimated average differences between groups at T2 (MC-PP) were slight: 1.5 [95 percent confidence interval (CI) -2.9, 5.9] and 2.4 (95 percent CI -4.4, 8.9) for PAR and ICON, respectively. More PP completed treatment under 2 years (85 percent versus 62 percent; P = 0.03). At baseline, both groups needed treatment, but MC malocclusions were more complex (P = 0.05). At T2, both groups were acceptable and there were no differences in ICON improvement categories. Group differences in psychosocial measures and associations between psychosocial and occlusal measures were evident in the "teeth" domain but weak or lacking elsewhere.


Occlusal and psychosocial outcomes from orthodontics in MC and PP were comparable, despite worse MC malocclusions at baseline.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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