In this study the prevalence of malocclusion and the need for orthodontic treatment was studied in 1,020 children (541 boys and 479 girls). At the time of examination they were between the ages of 8 years 5 months and 9 years 5 months. The frequency of dental, space and occlusion anomalies was recorded and compared with those in other studies. The need for orthodontic treatment was judged according to the 5-point scale of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (1996). In 32% of the children there was an urgent need for treatment (Grade 3 and 4) in a further 32% treatment would be desirable (Grade 2). There was a little need for treatment (Grade 1) in 24% and no need (Grade 0) in 12%.
A well structured, efficient health service is an important component of the welfare state, in Sweden for example. But its significance for the state of the nation's health is limited and will be affected, inter alia, by life styles and the environment. A progressive health policy must be based on cooperation between various sectors of society, and here the health service plays a central part. Therefore social policy must be well documented and subjected to continuous review. This is an important prerequisite for planning and correction at different levels. The analysis must take account of society as a whole, organization, and the individual! In so doing, greater significance should be attributed to the effectiveness and quality of the health service than to structures, capacity and statistics. With reference to the health of children in the Nordic countries, it is encouraging to see that this conception of evaluation has also gained greater acceptance in preventive care, firstly in the field of paediatric health care and more recently in the school health service as well.