Abstract

ObjectiveThis paper describes changes in the characteristics of patients seeking orthodontic treatment over the past decade and the treatment they received, to identify any seasonal variations or trends.MethodsThis single-center retrospective cohort study included all patients who presented to Seoul National University Dental Hospital for orthodontic diagnosis and treatment between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2015. The study analyzed a set of heterogeneous variables grouped into the following categories: demographic (age, gender, and address), clinical (Angle Classification, anomaly, mode of orthodontic treatment, removable appliances for Phase 1 treatment, fixed appliances for Phase 2 treatment, orthognathic surgery, extraction, mini-plate, mini-implant, and patient transfer) and time-related variables (date of first visit and orthodontic treatment time). Time series analysis was applied to each variable.ResultsThe sample included 14,510 patients with a median age of 19.5 years. The number of patients and their ages demonstrated a clear seasonal variation, which peaked in the summer and winter. Increasing trends were observed for the proportion of male patients, use of non-extraction treatment modality, use of ceramic brackets, patients from provinces outside the Seoul region at large, patients transferred from private practitioners, and patients who underwent orthognathic surgery performed by university surgeons. Decreasing trends included the use of metal brackets and orthodontic treatment time.ConclusionsTime series analysis revealed a seasonal variation in some characteristics, and several variables showed changing trends over the past decade.

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