Objective: To evaluate the reasons influencing the preferences for a certain type of orthodontic appliance over another among prospective patients (PP) and orthodontists.
Methods: A total of 49 PP and 51 orthodontists were asked about their preferences for the following appliances: clear aligners (CA), lingual metallic brackets (LMB), polycrystalline and monocrystalline ceramic brackets, and buccal metallic brackets (BMB). The participants rated the importance of 17 potential reasons that would explain their choices. The reasons that contributed most to these preferences were identified. Non-parametric tests (Fisher's exact, χ2 and Mann-Whitney tests) and multivariate analyses (regression and discriminant analysis) were used to assess the data (α = 0.05).
Results: CA and BMB were the most chosen appliances by PP and orthodontists, respectively. LMB was the most rejected option among both groups of participants (p < 0.001). Rates of the importance of pain/discomfort, smile esthetics, finishing details, and feeding/speech impairment showed the highest differences between PP and orthodontists (p < 0.0005). Discriminant analyses showed that individuals who considered treatment time and smile esthetics as more important were more likely to prefer CA, while those who prioritized finishing details and cost were more likely to choose BMB (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Reasons related to comfort and quality of life during use were considered as more important by PP, while those related to the results and clinical performance of the appliances were considered as more relevant by orthodontists.
Keywords: Orthodontic appliances; Orthodontists; Patient preference.