The Impact of Orthodontic Treatment on Self-Esteem

During adolescence, a teenager’s facial features and appearance play a major role towards their self-perceived appearance.1,2 Many adolescent’s social relationships are directly dependent on physical attractiveness,3 hence performing aesthetic alteration will have a direct impact on their self-esteem and ultimately their quality of life.4,5

However, there are very limited studies which provide us with evidence to suggest that self-esteem is enhanced after orthodontic treatment.6,7 As self-esteem is more of a psychological concept, even the common dental disorders like dental trauma, tooth loss and untreated carious lesions may affect an adolescent’s self-esteem. It may further influence the quality of life for an individual.

The following is a case report involving a 12-year-old female patient who presented at her first visit to our office demonstrating a very self-conscious, and ill-at-ease image regarding her dental appearance which was resulting in a low self-esteem. She was also traumatized due to the word “surgery” being mentioned at a previous visit by another dentist who felt that this option was a way to correct her aesthetic issues. For this reason, at every single appointment, the patient would ask if she would still need surgery.

During adolescence, a teenager’s facial features and appearance play a major role towards their self-perceived appearance.1,2 Many adolescent’s social relationships are directly dependent on physical attractiveness,3 hence performing aesthetic alteration will have a direct impact on their self-esteem and ultimately their quality of life.4,5

However, there are very limited studies which provide us with evidence to suggest that self-esteem is enhanced after orthodontic treatment.6,7 As self-esteem is more of a psychological concept, even the common dental disorders like dental trauma, tooth loss and untreated . . .

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American Orthodontic Society

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