Orthodontists? Preferences and Selection Criteria for Functional Appliances
Author(s): Mohammed K Badri*
Introduction: Dentofacial orthopedic functional appliances are widely used by orthodontists for growth modification treatment in growing patients with skeletal discrepancies. Aim: To investigate the preferences and selection criteria of functional appliances by orthodontists practicing in Saudi Arabia. Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional study in which an electronic survey was emailed to all members of the Saudi Orthodontic Society. The survey consisted of three parts including background information, preferences of functional appliances use, and factors affecting functional appliance selection. Descriptive analysis and inferential statistics were conducted using Chi-square or Fisher exact test with a significant level set at p<0.05. Results: 104 orthodontists participated in the study, majority were practicing in the private sector and represented the major three geographic areas of the country. Intra-oral removable appliances were the most preferred for management of skeletal Class II cases (64.4%) while extra-oral appliances were the most preferred for skeletal Class III (80.8%). Functional appliances were more frequently used (66.4%) than headgear (23.1%) on a routine basis. The topmost preferred functional appliance was the Twin Block (73%); followed by Forsus (56.7%); and Herbst (23%). Statistically significant association was present between the type of functional appliance preferred with years of experience (p<0.05) and residency training (p<0.01). Patient’s compliance was the most considered factor in selecting the type of functional appliance. Conclusion: Orthodontists revealed a predominant use of functional appliances over headgear. Similar to the European trend, the Twin Block was the most preferred appliance. Preference for the type of functional appliance was influenced by orthodontists’ years of experience and location of their residency training.