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Article: Volume 47 Number 3 Page 231 - March 2020

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  Dent Update 2020; 47: 231-237

Orthodontics:  Short-Term Orthodontics: Reasons for Treatment and their Associated Risks, Precautions in Patient Selection

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Abstract: Short-term orthodontics (STO) is a concept that is being utilized principally on adult patients to correct minor dental irregularities. It is a cosmetically motivated treatment that is being increasingly sought as an alternative to conventional orthodontic treatment (COT). Although general dental practitioners (GDPs) who have completed further training can provide STO, for quality care delivery it is important to know the limitations of the scope of practice. This article aims to discuss the reasons for adults seeking STO, the societal pressures responsible for desiring it, precautions required by GDPs during patient selection and its associated risks.

Clinical relevance: Most importantly, GDPs should have a good understanding of societal pressures that induce patients’ desires to seek STO. Therefore, the dental practitioner can manage patient expectations appropriately. This highlights the challenge that not every patient’s desires can be delivered with STO. Furthermore, the article explains the limits and risks of STO which should be thoroughly explained to patients in the process of obtaining valid consent.

Author notes: Hassan-Ali Ismail, BDS, Brij Dhody Dental Practice, 2 Bhylls Lane, Wolverhampton, WV3 8DH; DFT, West Midlands (email: and Sangeeta Misra, Consultant Orthodontist, Charles Clifford Dental School, 76 Wellesley Road, Sheffield S10 2SZ, UK.

Objective: To understand the reasons for adults pursuing orthodontic treatment as well as the risks associated with short-term orthodontics in terms of patient selection.

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