Journal Article

Patient and parent motivation for orthodontic treatment—a questionnaire study

Barbara Wędrychowska-Szulc and Maria Syryńska

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 32, issue 4, pages 447-452
Published in print August 2010 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Patient and parent motivation for orthodontic treatment—a questionnaire study

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The aims of this investigation were to examine patients’ and parents/guardians’ motivation for seeking orthodontic treatment and to determine the influence of age and gender in this process. The sample comprised 674 subjects (365 girls and 309 boys) aged 7–18 years and 674 of their parents/guardians, as well as 86 adult patients aged 19–42 years (57 females and 29 males). Similar questionnaires, designed to assess motivation for orthodontic treatment, were completed by all subjects. Statistical analysis was undertaken using Pearson's chi-square test.

In the patient groups, a desire to improve aesthetics was the main motivational factor for undergoing treatment. With increasing age, 13 per cent more girls (P = 0.039) were more aware of their malocclusion. The influence of their surroundings on the uptake of treatment decreased with increasing age. Less than 5 per cent of the examined subjects started treatment because other children made fun of them, and only 3 per cent of older patients were motivated by future improvements in health. Between 63 and 67 per cent of parents reported pressurizing their children to seek orthodontic treatment in order to avoid possible future claims of neglect. No statistically significant dependence on gender or age of the children was found.

Improvement in dental aesthetics was the principle motivational factor for the children (29–48 per cent), their parents/guardians (54 per cent), and adult patients (55 per cent) seeking orthodontic treatment.

Journal Article.  3189 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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