Provision and timing of interceptive orthodontic treatment by certified orthodontists and pediatric dentists in Canada.
Introduction: The ideal timing to initiate orthodontic treatment is an important, yet controversial issue. The purpose of this study was to investigate the provision of orthodontic care for 7 types of skeletal dysplasia by paediatric dentists and orthodontists in Canada. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to randomly selected orthodontists (N=140) and paediatric dentists (N=132) throughout Canada. Surveys returned within 8 weeks were included for c2 statistical analysis. Results: The response rate was 59% for orthodontists and 54% for pediatric dentists. Orthodontists and pediatric dentists differed significantly in the timing of their first orthodontic consultation (p < 0.01). More pediatric dentists used to the dental age to determine the appropriate time to initiate treatment (p < 0.01), whereas more orthodontists relied on the pubertal indicators (p < 0.01). More orthodontists would intervene in the early mixed dentition for moderate mandibular prognathia (p < 0.01); mid-mixed dentition for severe mandibular retrognathia (p < 0.01), late mixed dentition for moderate mandibular retrognathia (p < 0.01) and permanent dentition for skeletal openbite and severe mandibular prognathia (p < 0.01). Most pediatric dentists would intervene in the early and mid-mixed dentition for the specified cases of skeletal malocclusions (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The results of this investigation indicate both consistencies and variation between orthodontic and paediatric practitioners with regard to preference in treatment timing, and the factors that influence these decisions.