Impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on orthodontic patients and their attitude to orthodontic treatment.

Affiliation

Umeh OD(1), Utomi IL(2), Isiekwe IG(2), Aladenika ET(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos/Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos/Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
(3)Department of Child Dental Health, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to assess the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the orthodontic patient. It also assessed the knowledge and attitude of patients to the COVID-19 infection and the willingness to carry out specific precautionary measures in the orthodontic clinics to mitigate the spread of the virus. METHODS: It was a cross-sectional descriptive study. Questionnaires were distributed to orthodontic patients via Google forms. The questionnaire assessed participants' knowledge, attitude, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on orthodontic treatment, and willingness to carry out infection control precautionary measures in the orthodontic clinic. RESULTS: A total of 304 responses were obtained; 83 males (27.3%), 221 females (72.7%) with a mean age of 35.6 years. Subjects demonstrated good knowledge of COVID-19 infection (94.7%). Most respondents (95%) considered the infection as dangerous and believed the orthodontic patient was at risk of contracting the disease but were willing regardless to carry on with their orthodontic treatment during the pandemic. Fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus during orthodontic appointments and missed orthodontic appointments (74%), and increased treatment time (50%) were the immediate and long-term concerns, respectively. A high acceptance rate of compliance to precautionary measures to mitigate virus spread in the clinic was observed. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the orthodontic treatment and the financial and emotional wellbeing of orthodontic patients. Patients were willing to continue with orthodontic management during the pandemic while complying with precautionary measures to prevent disease spread in the orthodontic practice setting.