Comprehensive clinical evaluation as an outcome assessment for a graduate orthodontics program

Yuliya B. Pinskaya, Tsung Ju Hsieh, W. Eugene Roberts, James K. Hartsfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


To supplement the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) objective grading system (OGS) for posttreatment dental casts and panoramic radiographs, a comprehensive clinical assessment (CCA) method was developed to assess facial form, dental esthetics, vertical dimension, arch form, periodontium preservation, root resorption, and treatment efficiency. The sum of the CCA and the ABO OGS scores was defined as the clinical outcome. To determine a 3-year baseline for treatment outcomes in a graduate orthodontic program, the posttreatment records of 521 consecutive patients were evaluated. The mean ABO OGS score for the entire sample was 34.4 points: 32.4, 33.1, and 37.8 points for 1998, 1999, and 2000, respectively. The mean CCA score for the entire sample was 4.67 points: 2.96, 5.13, and 6.15 points for 1998, 1999, and 2000, respectively. Corresponding ABO OGS and CCA scores showed a progressive decrease in the quality of finished cases that was associated with a treatment time increase from 28.9 to 39.3 months. Overall, longer active treatment times resulted in a diminished clinical outcome, primarily due to patient burn-out. Scoring of all finished cases is an effective means for determining clinical outcomes. However, the data suggest that, in initiating a clinical grading program, it is important to establish a multiyear baseline. Patients who are progressing well in treatment tend to be finished by the time the current class graduates, and the problem patients are transferred. Because long treatment times are associated with diminished clinical outcomes, it is often in the best interest of the uncooperative patient to terminate treatment rather than extend active mechanics in an attempt to achieve a better result.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-543
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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