Psycho-social impact of orthodontic treatment in Romanian teenagers and young adults
Background and aims. This survey evaluated the psycho-social impact of oral health on the quality of life in Romanian teenage and young adult orthodontic patients.
Methods. Of the 300 standard questionnaires distributed in four dental offices, 125 questionnaires were returned. Each questionnaire contained 110 items, focusing on aspects like patients’ satisfaction, self-confidence, school/work performances and aesthetic concern, in relation to oral health. The patients were 16–25 years of age and all were undergoing or had undergone orthodontic treatment in the previous two years. Data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science software (SPSS), version 19.0.
Results. 57.90% of the orthodontic patients participating in this study were happy about their dental status, 56.52% declared themselves not shy because of their oral health issues, 52.33% considered themselves as attractive to other people, and 57.29% replied (awarding a score between 8 and 10) that they were confident when smiling. Regarding self-confidence and school/work performances, 58% of the participants declared they avoided speaking in public because of the aspect of their teeth and 47.42% considered that their school/work performances during the fix appliance therapy stayed the same as before appliance. Nevertheless, the self-perceived facial aspect improved during orthodontic treatment (64.74% of replies had scores between 8 and 10 during the treatment versus 24.67% before the treatment). Several correlations were found between aspects such as psycho-social and functional variables, physical self-evaluation, and oral health issues.
Conclusion. Patients’ satisfaction was improved during and after appliance therapy, for more than half of the participants. Self-confidence was low in relation to school/work performances; almost half of the patients reported stagnation in their school/work performances during the fix appliance therapy. However, more than 64% of the patients participating in this study were quite satisfied about their facial aspect during and after the orthodontic treatment. Thus, the common concerns of the patients anxious about their aspect during appliance therapy are not supported by the findings of this study.