A prospective longitudinal controlled assessment of pain experience and oral health-related quality of life in adolescents undergoing fixed appliance treatment

Orthod Craniofac Res. 2014 Aug;17(3):178-86. doi: 10.1111/ocr.12044. Epub 2014 Apr 7.


Objective: To compare subjective pain experience and oral health-related quality of life (OH-QoL) in treated and untreated subjects over the first 3 months of fixed appliance therapy.

Setting and sample population: The Department of Orthodontics, School of Medicine and Dentistry. One hundred and twenty-four subjects aged between 11 and 14 years either commencing or awaiting fixed appliance treatment.

Material & methods: A prospective controlled longitudinal study design was applied to subjects, over a 3-month observation period, following the placement of fixed appliances. Socio-economic status, OH-QoL, pain experience and analgesic consumption were recorded on questionnaires at baseline (T0), 6 weeks (T1) and 3 months (T2).

Results: Oral symptoms and functional limitation domains of OH-QoL were found to worsen, during the follow-up period, in the test group (p = 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). In the treated group, pain intensity declined significantly on days 3 and 2 at T1 and T2, respectively (p < 0.001). Analgesia was required during both periods in a total of 13 participants (24.5%) undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Conclusion: Based on this prospective controlled study, the initial stages of fixed appliance treatment results in subjective pain experience, with subsequent reduction, and a significant impact on oral symptoms and functional limitation domains of OH-QoL.

Keywords: orthodontic; pain; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mastication / physiology
  • Oral Health*
  • Orthodontic Appliances* / adverse effects
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Perception / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Class
  • Visual Analog Scale


  • Analgesics