Ortho treatment makes life better for adults

Adult orthodontic treatment contributes to significant improvements in both professional and personal lives, according to a new survey.

The survey was conducted on behalf of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) for National Orthodontic Health Month in October, and included adults who had orthodontic treatment provided by orthodontists. The survey included questions regarding respondents' pretreatment concerns, such as "How will I look?" and "Am I too old?"

According to the results, 71% of respondents had such concerns prior to treatment, but an overwhelming majority said the concerns did not continue once treatment began.

Of those surveyed, 75% of the adults reported improvements in career or personal relationships, which they attributed to their improved postorthodontic treatment smile. Younger adults reported the most favorable results, with 87% of those ages 18 to 34 reporting increased success with personal relationships after treatment. Citing newfound self-confidence, 92% of respondents said they would recommend orthodontic treatment to other adults.

"This survey validates that a healthy, beautiful smile can be a critical factor when it comes to personal and professional success," said Gayle Glenn, DDS, president of the AAO, in a press release. "Adults are seeking treatment in record numbers, and we encourage anyone, at any age, to consult an orthodontist to learn if they could benefit from treatment. It's never too late to move healthy teeth."

The number of adult patients increased 14% from 2010 to 2012, to a record high of 1.2 million patients ages 18 and older, according to the AAO. Association members were treating a total of nearly 5.9 million patients in 2012, an increase of 20% compared with 2010. More men are opting for orthodontic treatment, according to a recent AAO study. As of 2012, 44%t of adult patients were male, a 29% increase compared with 2010 survey results.

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