Journal Article

Professional perceptions of the benefits of orthodontic treatment

Orlagh Hunt, Peter Hepper, Chris Johnston, Mike Stevenson and Donald Burden

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 23, issue 3, pages 315-323
Published in print June 2001 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online June 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/23.3.315
Professional perceptions of the benefits of orthodontic treatment

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The aim of this study was to assess general dental practitioners' and orthodontists' perceptions of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. A specially designed questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 150 general dental practitioners (GDPs) and all orthodontists in Northern Ireland (excluding hospital practitioners) with a postgraduate qualification (n = 29). There was a 93 per cent response rate by the general dental practitioners and all but one specialist practitioner returned the questionnaire.

The questionnaire comprised 14 visual analogue scales (VAS) whereby participants were asked to rate the importance of various possible dental health and psychosocial benefits of orthodontic treatment. In addition to the VAS, the influence of dentist variables such as number of years since qualification, orthodontic cases completed, referral rates and attendance at postgraduate lectures were examined.

When ratings on the 14 dental health and psychosocial scales were examined overall, GDPs rated an improvement in self‐esteem while orthodontists considered an improvement in physical attractiveness as the most important benefit of orthodontic treatment.

Even though psychosocial variables received the highest ratings, examination of the mean ratings (and 95 per cent confidence intervals) revealed that some dental health factors were also rated highly by both groups. While the results do indicate an encouraging awareness of the psychosocial benefits of orthodontic treatment, they also suggest that both GDPs and orthodontists have an unrealistic expectation of the dental health gain likely to result from orthodontic treatment.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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