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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 118-124

A survey of orthodontists' perspectives on the timing of treatment: A pilot study

Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Division of Orthodontics, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Eman I Al-Shayea
P.O. Box 15158, Riyadh 11444
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0203.143232

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Objectives: This study aimed to outline orthodontists' perspectives at what stage they would initiate orthodontic treatment and also sought to assess the relationship between orthodontists' views and their genders, types of practice, and experience levels. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was sent electronically to 165 practicing orthodontists at different regions in Saudi Arabia. The orthodontists were asked to consider at what stage they would initiate orthodontic treatment for a child with one of 29 different types of occlusal deviations, functional problems, and temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) listed in the questionnaire as their main orthodontic problem. Frequency distributions of all the variables were derived, and comparisons were made using the Chi-square tests. Results: Fifty-two electronically completed questionnaires were returned (31.5% response rate). The majority of the respondents were males (63.5%). The majority of respondents (90%) reported that they would treat most of the occlusal deviations in the mixed dentition stage. Anterior cross-bite was the most frequent indication for treatment during the early mixed dentition stage (73.7%). Conditions rated as best treated during the late mixed, or the permanent dentition stages were; overjet > 6 mm with interdental spacing, maxillary midline diastema >2 mm and deep bite >5 mm without palatal impingement. The majority of respondents (86.6%) preferred to treat most of the functional problems in the deciduous or early mixed dentition stage. Orthodontists with more than 15 years of experience preferred to treat patients with TMDs, whereas those with <15 years of experience opted to refer such patients to TMD specialists. Conclusions: The findings of the present study suggest that orthodontists should consider many factors, such as the risks, benefits, duration, and costs of early and late intervention, when deciding the best timing to begin orthodontic treatment.

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