Factors Influencing the Decision Process within Seeking Orthodontic Care among the Saudi Population: A Cross-sectional Survey

The Open Dentistry Journal 12 Jan 2024 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118742106275295240109061210


Aims & Background

Orthodontic treatment is the first choice for the treatment of many different types of malocclusions, and patients’ decision processes while seeking orthodontic treatment are multifactorial. The aim of the present study is to assess these factors influencing the decision process regarding the public and orthodontic treatment for themselves or for their children, as well as the factors influencing the selection of an orthodontist versus a general dentist in Saudi Arabia.

Materials and Methods

A survey-based questionnaire was distributed through social media accounts that included questions about demographic data, reasons for seeking orthodontic care, barriers to care, and sources of information that may influence the decisions regarding the choice of orthodontic treatment for the participants and their children.


The final sample included 320 responses from eligible participants (181 men & 139 women with a mean age of 39.98). ‘Family dentist recommendation’ was the most important reason for participants to seek out orthodontic treatment for themselves or a child while finding a caregiver who can handle complications and the availability of appointments were the most important barriers in seeking orthodontic treatment. Participants also assumed an orthodontist would be more reliable in finishing the treatment in the expected duration, yet they expected that treatment with a general dentist would be less costly and more convenient.


A referral from the family dentist has the most impactful influence on seeking orthodontic care. People are keen to have their treatment done by an orthodontist, but the major barrier in seeking orthodontic care is finding a suitable candidate. Parents prioritize orthodontic treatment for their children more than for themselves.

Keywords: Decision process, Orthodontics, Orthodontic treatment, Patient opinion, Orthodontic care, Orthodontist.
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