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12-09-2016, 03:53 AM
Smiles are In Style — New Study Says Adults are Seeking Orthodontic Treatment in Record Numbers

ST. LOUIS – Adults are seeking orthodontic treatment at historic levels. The number of adult patients increased 14 percent in a two-year period from 2010 to 2012, to a record high of 1,225,850 patients ages 18 and older, according to the American Association of Orthodontists’ “The Economics of Orthodontics” survey. The study asked members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in the U.S. and Canada about patients they were treating in 2012. The study was conducted for the AAO by the independent research firm, Loyalty Research Center. AAO members have collectively treated one million or more adults consistently since 2004, even during the height of the recession.

“Many of our adult patients are telling us it’s time for them to get their smile on track,” says Gayle Glenn, DDS, MSD, president of the AAO. “Adults patients often have gone years – even decades – trying to hide their teeth, while not even entertaining the idea of orthodontic treatment because of misplaced concern about having treatment as an adult. The good news is that today’s wide variety of innovative treatment options can make the process of orthodontic treatment barely noticeable, while offering the dual lifetime benefits of improved oral health and a more attractive smile. Adults are thrilled to know that the help of orthodontists is available to them.”

Patients of all ages seek out orthodontists, who are dentistry’s specialists in orthodontic care, for their expertise in straightening teeth and aligning the bite. After dental school, prospective orthodontists receive an additional 2-3 years of specialized education in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only those who have successfully completed this demanding formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are eligible for AAO membership.

According the survey, AAO members were treating a total of 5,876,000 patients in 2012, an increase of 20 percent as compared to 2010. Further, 4,650,150 patients in 2012 were ages 17 or under, an increase of nearly 22 percent as compared to 2010. This is the largest number of non-adult patients in treatment by AAO members since patient census data began to be collected in 1982.

More men are opting for orthodontic treatment, according to the study. As of 2012, 44 percent of adult patients were male, an increase of 10 percentage points, or 29 percent, as compared to 2010 survey results. Read more at Cook Ortho (http://cookortho.com/)!

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