Prediction of prolonged pain experiences during orthodontic treatment

Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2008 Mar;133(3):339.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2007.09.013.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Dental Anxiety
  • Facial Pain / etiology*
  • Facial Pain / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / therapy
  • Motivation
  • Orthodontic Appliances / adverse effects*
  • Orthodontics, Corrective / adverse effects*
  • Orthodontics, Corrective / psychology
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Personality
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination / adverse effects