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The number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in the UK continues to rise

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New figures released by The British Orthodontic Society (BOS), to coincide with National Smile Month, reveal the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in the UK continues to rise.

This survey, conducted in March 2018 among BOS members, was designed to gather new data about orthodontics and patient choices in the UK compared to two years ago.

Asked if they were seeing an increase in private adult treatment, 80% said yes. This figure compares to 75% in 2016. When asked what kind of braces they provide to their patients, orthodontists revealed a cross section of approaches:

  • Over 75% supply fixed braces with clear aesthetic brackets

  • Over 35% supply lingual braces (fixed behind the teeth)

  • Over 75% supply clear aligners.

The survey showed that adult patients are most likely to be female and in the 26 to 40 age bracket. However, the number of men seeking treatment appears to be on the rise. Nineteen percent of the respondents to the survey estimate that half of their adult patients are male. This compares to 13% in 2016. The most popular system, provided by more than 98% of orthodontists, is fixed braces on the front of the teeth, often referred to as train tracks. This figure reflects the high number of young people treated as NHS patients for whom fixed braces is the most appropriate option. A quarter of BOS members responded to the survey. Of those who answered the survey, 27% see only NHS patients while 67% see both private and NHS patients.

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The number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in the UK continues to rise. Br Dent J 224, 847 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.455

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