Direct to consumer orthodontics: Exploring patient demographic trends and preferences

Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2021 Feb;159(2):210-216.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2019.12.024. Epub 2020 Dec 18.


Introduction: This study aimed to evaluate market trends on the demographics most likely to select direct to consumer orthodontics and the reasoning behind their decisions.

Methods: An internet-based cross-sectional survey was conducted. Data analysis was carried out using logistic regression models.

Results: Total of 1573 surveys were completed. While 32.2% of those surveyed selected direct to consumer orthodontics over conventional orthodontics, 10.8% would select direct to consumer orthodontics for their children. Among parents who would seek direct to consumer orthodontics, only 27.8% would consider the same treatment for their children. The odds of seeking direct to consumer orthodontic treatment for divorced participants was 2.52 times higher than that for single participants, for participants with 4 children or more was 2 times higher than that for participant with no children, and in age group 46-59 years was 2.23 times higher than that for age group 18-26 years. Seventy three percent of consumers who selected direct to consumer orthodontics selected cost as an influencing factor. Convenience was also a major determining factor at 69.6%.

Conclusions: Cost, convenience, and perceived simplicity all appear to factor into a consumer's consideration of direct to consumer orthodontics. As annual household income, age, and education increases consumers are more likely to consider direct to consumer orthodontic treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Dental Care
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthodontics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult