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Citation Information : Australasian Orthodontic Journal. Volume 36, Issue 1, Pages 9-19, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/aoj-2020-002
License : (CC BY 4.0)
Published Online: 20-July-2021
Objective: To describe patient and treatment characteristics in West Australian private orthodontic practices.
Methods: A quantitative retrospective cross-sectional study of patient records from private practices in Western Australia was conducted. Permission was sought to access clinical records of 100 most recently-treated patients at each participating practice. A sample of 3,200 patients (response rate 84%) was collected, representing approximately one-third of practices in Western Australia, and simple descriptive statistics were applied to assess patient and treatment characteristics.
Results: The majority of patients were female (58.5%), adolescent and had private health insurance (75.6%). The most common patient complaint was crowding (37.6%) and aesthetics (21.3%). Data analysis indicated that 31% of patients were self-referred and a similar proportion did not have a specific complaint. Adult females had a higher interest in aesthetic options. Over half of the patients (56%) received first phase treatment, and non-extraction orthodontics accounted for 61.6% of cases. Full fixed appliances were the most commonly prescribed device (94%). The acceptance rate of orthognathic surgery, when offered, was approximately 30%.
Conclusion: Clinical data relating to actual patient presentations provide an invaluable insight into the realities of private practice. The eventual course of treatment is often determined by the patient’s tolerances and expectations as much as a clinical recommendation.
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