Perceptions of the risks and benefits of orthodontic treatment

J. L. McComb, J. L. Wright, N. A. Fox, K. D. O'Brien

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Recent National Health Service changes have brought about a greater involvement of the consumers of medical and dental care in decision making regarding their treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the level of awareness of the risks and benefits of orthodontic treatment among potential consumers and their referring dentists. Parents of patients referred for orthodontic treatment were issued with a questionnaire about the risks and benefits of treatment and the reason the child had been referred. Study models were also made of the child's teeth. The patients' dentists were issued with a similar questionnaire. The results revealed that most of the parents were aware of the benefits of treatment in general and the reason that their own child required it. This awareness was greater where the orthodontic need on aesthetic grounds was greater. There was less awareness of the risks of treatment though again this was greater among those with a greater need for treatment. When the perceptions of the dentists were evaluated, they were more aware of the risks but were not communicating this to the parents. Since for some patients the risks of treatment may outweigh the benefits, it would be helpful if dentists could provide this information for patients before referral.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)133-138
    Number of pages5
    JournalCommunity Dental Health
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996


    • Orthodontic treatment
    • Risks/benefits


    Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptions of the risks and benefits of orthodontic treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this