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.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.