The multidisciplinary team studied the long-term effects of both orthodontic treatment and lack of treatment when a need had been identified in childhood, in a paper published in The British Journal of Health Psychology (January 22 2007).
Over a thousand 11-12 year olds were recruited to the project in Cardiff in 1981, and their dental health and psycho-social well-being assessed. They were re-assessed in 1984 and 1989 and finally in 2001, then aged 31-32.
Professor William Shaw of The University of Manchester, himself an orthodontist, said: “We revisited 337 of our original sample as adults, and those who had been assessed as needing orthodontic treatment in 1981 and received it had straighter teeth and were more likely to be satisfied with them.
“However orthodontic treatment, in the form of braces placed on children’s teeth in childhood, had little positive impact on their psychological health and quality of life in adulthood.
“Further, a lack of orthodontic treatment in childhood did not lead to psychological difficulties in later life for those children where a need was identified but no treatment received.
“It can be concluded that, although in general participants’ self-esteem increased over the 20-year period, it was not as a result of receiving braces and didn’t relate to whether an orthodontic treatment need existed in 1981. This runs contrary to the widespread belief among dentists that orthodontic treatment improves psychological well-being, for which there is very little evidence.”
The team, which included academics from the University of Roehampton (London) and Cardiff University’s Dental School, also concluded that the health or attractiveness of a person’s teeth is a minor factor in determining their psychological well-being in adulthood.
Fellow researcher and psychologist Dr Pamela Kenealy of Roehampton said: “Teeth are important to an individual’s self-perception during adolescence, but by adulthood other factors have greater significance. So while it may make a minor contribution to an individual’s perception of self-worth, orthodontics cannot be justified on psychological grounds alone.”
Jon Keighren | alfa
Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
16.01.2018 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
12.01.2018 | Duke University
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering