Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the degree of overjet deemed by subjects without dental education as needing orthodontic treatment, to determine whether dental education influences the perception of overjet, and to determine whether the degree of overjet considered to require orthodontic treatment changes after subjects acquire dental education. Materials and methods: Ninety-six women in their first year immediately after entering a school for dental hygienists (first-year group), 34 women in their third year of education (third-year group), and 14 orthodontists (5 men and 9 women; Orthodontist group) were included. Follow-up investigation for the first-year group was conducted after they entered their third year. The dental models had varying overjet from −2.0 mm to +7.0 mm with differences of 1.0 mm each. The models were shown to each subject in random order, and each subject was asked to determine whether or not the models required orthodontic treatment. Results: The ratio of subjects in whom orthodontic treatment was deemed to be necessary for overjet of 4.0 and 5.0 mm was significantly higher in the Orthodontist group than in the first- and third-year group, respectively. The ratio of subjects who deemed orthodontic treatment necessary for overjet of 0.0 mm in the third-year group was significantly higher than that in the first-year group both in the cross-sectional and longitudinal data. Conclusions: The dental education does appear to influence the perception of edge-to-edge occlusion.
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