Adult orthodontic treatment contributes to significant improvements in both professional and personal lives, say respondents to a new study conducted among individuals who, as adults, had orthodontic treatment provided by orthodontists.
Seventy-five percent of adults surveyed reported improvements in career or personal relationships, which they attributed to their improved post-orthodontic treatment smile. Citing newfound self-confidence, 92 percent of survey respondents
say they would recommend orthodontic treatment to other adults. The survey, which was conducted on behalf of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) for National Orthodontic Health Month in October, queried respondents on their pre-treatment concerns: “What will others think?” “How will I look?” “Am I too old?” Seventy-one percent had such concerns prior to treatment, but an overwhelming majority said the concerns did not continue once treatment actually began. Respondents reported positive outcomes from treatment: “I was much more confident and self- assured once I could smile openly. Life is very stressful (on a subconscious level) when you’re always aware th
at you cannot open your mouth to smile without fear of judgment.” “With an attractive smile you can face your career and personal relationships with confidence.” “A more brilliant smile and the straightest teeth … gave me confidence to do anything.”
Younger adults report the most favorable results. Eighty-seven percent of those aged 18-34 reported increased success with personal relationships after treatment. “I found someone who cared about me,”commented one respondent.
“This survey validates that a healthy, beautiful smile can be a critical factor when it comes to personal and professional success,” says Gayle Glenn, president of the AAO. “ Adults are seeking treatment in record numbers and we encourage anyone, at any age, to consult an orthodontist to learn if they could benefit from treatment. It’s never too late to move healthy teeth.” The number of adult patients increased 14 percent from 2010 to 2012, to a record high of 1,225,850 patients ages 18 and older. AAO members were treating a total of 5,876,000 patients in 2012, an increase of 20 percent as compared to 2010. More men are opting for orthodontic treatment, according to a recent AAO study.
As of 2012, 44 percent of adult patients were male, a 29 percent increase as compared to 2010 survey results. Patients of all ages seek out orthodontists for their expertise in straightening teeth and aligning the bite. Orthodontists make use of the full range of treatment types avail able. Based on their education and experience, orthodontists can devise effective treatment plans that employ the full range of treatment types, from high-tech to tried and true, based on the needs of each individual patient. After dental school, orthodontists receive an additional 2-3 years of specialized education at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only those who have successfully completed this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are eligible for AAO membership.