3784 Quality of life comparison between clear removable and conventional orthodontics
J.C. LINGENBRINK1, G. KING, A.M. BOLLEN, P. HUJOEL, G. HUANG1, and G. ORSINI-ALCALDE, 1University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, USA

As a part of a larger study, quality-of-life measures were collected from patients treated with a series of clear removable appliances (CRA). Objective: This compares these measures from the CRA group to a group being treated with conventional orthodontics (CO), defined as fixed braces and wires. The groups were matched on age, gender, malocclusion severity and need for extraction. However, they could not be matched on length of time in treatment or appointment frequency. Method: 105 patients (>18 yrs.) were selected (51 CRA, 54 CO). Each patient completed a quality of life questionnaire, measuring five dimensions: appearance of the teeth at the time of survey, oral comfort, performance (measures of oral function and tooth appearance), eating restrictions and pain. Responses were scored on a 5-point scale (1=negative to 5=positive). The CRA patients were surveyed at 4 months into their treatment whereas the CO patients at various times, predominantly at the end of the treatment (average treatment time 22.1 months + 14.8). Data were analyzed using ANOVA and Pearson correlations. Results: There were no significant differences (mean values of CRA, CO respectively) in comfort (3.1,3.1), performance (3.6,3.6), or pain (4.2,4.0). In dental appearance, CO was favored over CRA (3.1,3.7). However CO showed a trend (p=0.07) associating favorable dental appearance scores with length of the time in treatment. Since the CRA group was in treatment for less time than CO, it is reasonable to assume that this difference was reflecting length of time in treatment rather than the appearance of the appliance. CRA patients had fewer problems with food adherence to appliances (2.5,2.0), less frequently had to change their diet (4.1,3.4), and less frequently had to change the way they prepared their food (4.4,3.7). Conclusion: These results suggest favorable dietary habits associated with the CRA patients compared to fixed appliances. Supported by NIDCR grant T35 DE07150 and Align Technologies.

Seq #340 - Methods of Orthodontic Treatment
11:00 AM-12:15 PM, Saturday, 9 March 2002 San Diego Convention Center Exhibit Hall C

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