Introduction: In this study, we investigated prolonged pain reactions in teenage orthodontic patients during a common orthodontic treatment. The aim was to examine factors predicting pain at the end of a follow-up week after placement of elastic separators.
Methods: Fifty-five patients (ages, 12-18 years) were included. Baseline assessments were made of perceived intensity of general and dental pain experiences, motivation for treatment, dental anxiety, and personality factors (self-esteem and temperament). Pain intensity was assessed on a visual analog scale, and pain medications were recorded. The patients were separated into pain and no-pain groups according to pain experiences at day 7.
Results: The pain group (mainly girls) had significantly higher ratings of treatment pain than in the non-pain group at all times measured except for the treatment day. Bivariate and multiple logistic regressions showed significant predictive power from motivation, dental anxiety, activity temperament, and vaccination pain.
Conclusions: In this adolescent patient sample, low motivation for orthodontic treatment, high ratings of vaccination pain, elevated dental anxiety level, and low activity temperament characterized patients reporting pain 1 week after the elastic separators were placed.