Boosting Self-Perception through Orthodontics

Can orthodontic treatment improve an adolescent’s estheticself-perception?

That question was central to a long-term study initiated in 2006 at Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro State University orthodontic clinic. Results of thestudy were published in the June 2012 edition of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. The treatment group for the study consisted of 92 patients ranging in age from 12 to 15 years. The study includeda control group of 226 untreated adolescents, 124 of whom were waiting for treatment. Another 102 adolescents were attending public school and had never undergone or sought orthodontic care.

The index of orthodontic treatment need was used to assessmalocclusion severity, esthetic status (measured by an orthodontist) and esthetic self-perception. All the study subjects—the treatment group, the waiting group and the school group—were interviewed three times over aperiod of two years.

In the end, the researchers found that “fixed orthodontic treatment improved the esthetic self-perceptions in Brazilian adolescents aged 12 to 15 years who sought orthodontic care.”

They also found that those who did not receive care “had significantly worse self-ratings,” an outcome only partly influenced by the severity of their malocclusion.

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Dr Elan Kaufman and American Dental Associatio​n


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