orthodonticsThe number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in the UK is continuing to grow, British Orthodontic Society (BOS) figures reveal.

When asked if they were seeing an increase in private adult treatment, 75% of dental practices said yes.

The majority of orthodontic patients (80%) are aged 26 to 55 years old.

‘It’s interesting to see the number of adults interested in orthodontic treatment remains high,’ Peter McCallum, BOS director of external relations, said.

‘Specialists and dentists with a special interest, offer a range of options for adults.

‘This enables them to provide a solution to any kind of orthodontic problem.

‘The value of informed choice cannot be over-estimated.’

Growing patient numbers

Female adult patients (80%) make up the majority of orthodontic patients.

Despite this the number of male patients has grown by 20%.

When asked what kind of braces orthodontists provide to their patients, they revealed:

  • Over 75% supply fixed braces with clear aesthetic brackets
  • Over 30% supply lingual braces (fixed behind the teeth)
  • 70% supply clear aligners.

Boosting self-confidence?

Despite a growing number of patients, University of Adelaide research shows straightening teeth won’t automatically boost self-confidence.

The study examined 448 13-year-olds from south Australia in 1988 and 1989.

By the time that they turned 30 in 2005 and 2006 more than a third of them had received orthodontic treatment.

‘The study examined if having braces lead to a greater level of happiness or psychosocial outcomes, later in life,’ says Dr Dogramaci, who carried out the study.

‘There was a pattern of higher psychosocial scores in people who did not have orthodontic treatment, meaning people who hadn’t had braces fitted were significantly more optimistic than the ones that did have braces.

‘Those who didn’t have braces had varying levels of crooked teeth, just like those who had braces treatment – ranging from mild through to very severe.’


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