Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Orthodontists' Interest in Various Orthodontic Appliances?

Turk J Orthod. 2023 Dec 29;36(4):216-223. doi: 10.4274/TurkJOrthod.2023.2022.124.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the changes in orthodontists' interest in various orthodontic appliances during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Methods: A questionnaire probing respondents' interest in orthodontic appliances and techniques, including standard buccal metal brackets, self-ligating brackets, standard ceramic brackets, lingual brackets, clear aligners, orthodontic facemasks, removable functional appliances, fixed functional appliances, orthognathic surgery, orthodontic miniscrews, and lingual retainers, was prepared using Google Forms and then sent to the Turkish Orthodontic Society to invite all members of the society to participate in the survey. Of the 1903 members invited, 230 (response rate, 12.08%) orthodontists completed the questionnaire.

Results: The respondents' interest in brackets did not change among 70% of the respondents (standard buccal metal bracket 80%, self-ligating bracket 72.2%, standard ceramic bracket 77%, and lingual bracket 76.5%). A significant difference was observed between the genders only about the interest in standard metal brackets and fixed functional appliances (p<0.05 for both). Interest in standard metal brackets decreased as respondents' work experience increased (p<0.05). The interest in self-ligating brackets was higher among respondents with 1-5 years of experience than among other respondents (p<0.05). Interest in self-ligating brackets increased more among lecturers and residents than among clinicians (p<0.05).

Conclusion: The interest of orthodontists in clear aligners showed the highest increase during the COVID-19 pandemic among all orthodontic appliances, whereas their interest in other appliances, particularly standard buccal metal brackets, did not change.

Keywords: COVID-19; Orthodontic appliances; Orthodontists.