Since malocclusion affects a large segment of the population, it is by definition a public health problem.
The etiology and treatment of malocclusions have been studied by clinicians; however epidemiologic aspect of the problem have been neglected.
The study was undertaken using Angle's classification to obtain and to evaluate epidemiologic data on the prevalence of malocclusion in a group of 2,378 University students, 17 to 23 years of age.
All Freshmen were selected, except for those students receiving orthodontic treatment and those few with too many missing teeth which prohibits classification by Angle's method.
The following results were obtained:
1) Almost 91% of students had malocclusion of the teeth severe enough to require correction.
2) There was a statistically significant difference in malocclusion between males and females. (93.66% malocclusion in males, 79.13% malocclusion in females).
3) Crowding was most prevalent in Glass Ⅰ malocclusion.
4) There appeared to be a specific association between the number of lost first molars and Angle's classification.
5) In this study, more class Ⅱ, Div. 2 malocclusion appeared than in Masslers' and Frankels' study of Caucasians, which used similar criteria.
Class Ⅲ malocclusion was more prevalent than Normal occlusion in the Korean students studied, but in Caucasians' Normal occlusion was more prevalent.