• The influence of various demographic and social factors on patient perceptions regarding orthodontic treatment

      Widmer, Lauren Errington; Williams, Robert E., D.M.D., M.A. (2013)
      While orthodontic patients previously received information about their treatment primarily through their orthodontist, there may now be a shift in the way in which patients obtain information, as well as in the information that they receive. This study sought to determine how much patients knew about manufacturer's claims of alternative orthodontic treatments and their level of positivity towards those treatments. The manufacturer's claims studied were those made by Align Technologies (Invisalign®), Ormco (Damon®), and DenMat Holdings (Six Month Smiles® and Snap-On Smile®). The demographic variables studied were gender, age, ethnicity, and place of care. To sdetermine these differences in perception, a survey was designed and distributed to patients, age 14-50, who presented for an initial appointment at either the University of Maryland Dental School Orthodontic Clinic or at private practices in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. One hundred and thirty-one surveys were completed over a four month period. Differences in demographic variables between those patients seeking care at the Dental School versus private practice were analyzed using chi-square and Fisher's exact tests. ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA were used to compare (a) knowledge of manufacturer's claims in general, (b) knowledge of Invisalign's® claims specifically, and (c) the desirability of Invisalign® for patients with the following variables: gender, age, ethnicity, and place of care (either the Dental School or private practices). Differences were found between patients seeking care at the Dental School versus patients seeking care in private practice for the following variables: ethnicity; chief complaint; and the number of magazines read. We also found that patients age 14-18 had less knowledge of Invisalign's® claims and thought Invisalign® was less desirable than patients age 19-30 or 31-50.