Orthodontic need and demand varies with social and cultural conditions,3 sex, race, orthodontic status, socioeconomic status, and availability of specialist treatment services.4 Wheeler et al. observed orthodontic need to be less in black (35.3%) than in white children (47.2%) and demand in the higher socioeconomic groups greater (11.7%) than in the lower groups (1.8%). Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) show the average overbite to be 2.9 mm, with 8% of the population having severe overjet of 6 mm or more. Excessive overjet has been associated with increased risk of incisor injury.5,6
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