Aim: To assess oral health–related quality of life (OHRQOL) and self-perceived esthetic impairment in patients seeking orthodontic treatment and to compare them with peers in the same age group who had never undergone orthodontic treatment. A correlation between OHRQOL and lower self-perceived esthetic impairment was also searched for. Methods: The sample comprised 209 individuals (12 to 20 years of age), of whom 110 were about to receive or had already started orthodontic treatment at Shiraz Dental School, Shiraz, Iran, (orthodontic group) and 99 participants who had never received orthodontic treatment (control group). OHRQOL was recorded with the validated Persian version of the short form of the Oral Health Impact Profile. The aesthetic component (AC) of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) instrument was used to record examiner and self-perceived esthetic impairment in both groups. Results: The Mann-Whitney test revealed that the orthodontic group had significantly worse OHRQOL than the control group (P = .005). The former group also had significantly higher self-perceived IOTN AC scores (P < .00). The weighted Kappa test was used to report the agreement between the examiner and self-perceived esthetic impairment. No significant intersex differences were found in either group. The Spearman correlation coefficient showed a significant correlation between higher IOTN AC scores and worse OHRQOL (P = .007) in the control group. No such correlation was found in the treatment group. Conclusion: Individuals who sought orthodontic treatment had higher self-perceived IOTN AC scores and worse OHRQOL than the control group. ORTHODONTICS (CHIC) 2012;13:226–233.
Key words: esthetic impairment, orthodontic treatment need, quality of life