Birgit Thilander, Krister Bjerklin and Lars Bondemark
- The orthodontic patient
- Individuals with different demands for orthodontic treatment
- Orthodontic care systems
- To be able to handle individuals with orthodontic problems
- To understand what essential orthodontics implies
Orthodontics is an old speciality that has undergone dramatic changes during the last 50 years, from being a discipline aimed at treating malocclusions in children to being a discipline aimed at treating patients irrespective of age. Who are then the prospective orthodontic patients? Where do they come from? Why do they come for treatment? Indeed, they make up a miscellaneous collection of individuals of varying ages, with different types of malocclusions, with different family histories, and with different social and cultural backgrounds, factors that naturally will influence the individual’s response to orthodontic treatment strategies. Broadly speaking, they can be divided into the following categories that correspond with their special problems: children and teenagers, adults, children with cleft-lip-palate defects and children with disabilities.
The largest group consists of children and teenagers, about 70% of whom are estimated to have some type of malocclusion or tooth anomaly; however, this does not necessarily imply that all those individuals need orthodontic treatment. Treatment depends upon the anomaly, and some diagnosed at an early age have anomalies that may self-correct, while others can get worse. Therefore, it is important for regular examinations and check-ups during the dentofacial growth period, preferably starting at the early ages.