Patient perceptions and attitudes regarding post-orthodontic treatment changes

Karslı N., Ocak I., Gülnar B., TÜZÜNER T., Littlewood S. J.

The Angle orthodontist, vol.93, no.4, pp.440-446, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 93 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.2319/100222-677.1
  • Journal Name: The Angle orthodontist
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.440-446
  • Keywords: Bonded retainer, Patient satisfaction, Posttreatment changes, Retention, Retreatment, Satisfaction, Vacuum-formed retainer
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


OBJECTIVES: To determine patient perceptions and attitudes regarding posttreatment changes at least 2 years after completion of orthodontic treatment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 125 patients (75 females, 50 males, aged 22.93 ± 2.98 years) were enrolled at least 2 years after debonding. Participants had either vacuum-formed retainers (VFRs) or bonded retainers (BRs). Posttreatment changes were evaluated digitally by comparing tooth positions at debonding and at least 2 years after debonding. A questionnaire was used to assess patient attitudes. Retainer usage, awareness of relapse, satisfaction with their current occlusion, and whether posttreatment changes were severe enough for them to consider retreatment were investigated. RESULTS: All patients showed some posttreatment changes in irregularity. Only 74% of patients wearing VFRs and 47.1% of patients wearing BRs were aware of posttreatment changes. Patients were more likely to notice posttreatment changes if there was an increase in mandibular irregularity of 1-3 mm. Awareness of posttreatment changes in the upper arch was higher in both groups. The majority of participants were satisfied with the results even if they noticed some minor posttreatment changes (VFR, 69.4%; BR, 76.5%). Dissatisfaction with posttreatment changes did not necessarily mean that a patient wanted retreatment. CONCLUSIONS: A total of 26% of patients wearing VFRs and 52.9% of patients wearing BRs were unaware of posttreatment changes. Approximately half of the patients who noticed posttreatment changes were still satisfied with the result 2 years after debonding. Even patients dissatisfied with the effect of posttreatment changes do not necessarily want retreatment.