Contributor(s)Macquarie University. Department of Statistics
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AbstractBackground: The use of lingual orthodontic appliances and the training background of orthodontists in Australia using the lingual orthodontic technique are largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the profile of lingual orthodontic users in Australia. Methods: Four hundred and fifty questionnaires consisting of 15 questions were sent out to orthodontists in Australia. We obtained a 62 per cent return rate (278) with a 58 per cent rate of completed questionnaires. Statistical analysis using SPSS was performed and various outputs were obtained. Results: Of the completed returns, 23 per cent were current lingual users; 69 per cent were not and 8 per cent were previous users but have stopped using the appliance. The majority (90 per cent) of the current lingual users were males. The highest percentage of users (35 per cent) was in New South Wales while the smallest percentage was in Tasmania (2 per cent). Around 40 per cent of respondents attended lingual courses as part of their specialist training programme, while 73 per cent had attended lingual courses since graduation and 82 per cent would consider attending a lingual course in the future. Of the 60 per cent current users who did not have a lingual component in their specialist training programme, almost nine-tenths had attended lingual courses since graduation. Of the non-lingual users, 14 per cent attended lingual courses as part of their specialist training programme, 28 per cent attended lingual courses since graduation and 38 per cent would consider attending a lingual course in the future. The main reason cited for being a non-lingual user was that lingual orthodontics could not be an integral part of the practice. Conclusions: Most of the orthodontists who graduated more than 16 years ago from their postgraduate training were non-users of the lingual appliance. It seems that around one in four orthodontists currently use the lingual technique, of which NSW orthodontists make up the largest group. Only one-fifth of users had some lingual component in their formal orthodontic training and about half of them have attended lingual courses after graduation. Almost half of orthodontists in Australia would consider attending a lingual course in the future. This survey provides a sound basis for course co-ordinators to plan for continuing lingual orthodontics in the future.