According to a recent independent survey conducted on behalf of the American Association of Orthodontists, nearly 75% of orthodontists have had orthodontic treatment.

The survey findings underscore the importance that orthodontists place on the very procedures that they recommend to patients. It is estimated that 50% to 75% of the population could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Currently, more than 4 million children and 1 million adults in North America wear braces.

“We know that orthodontic treatment can improve a patient’s dental health, overall health, and facial appearance,” said William C. Gaylord, DDS, MSD, president of the American Association of Orthodontists. “For some, it may even improve self-esteem. These results illustrate that we believe in the benefits of our work and that we practice what we preach.”

The survey also found that:
• 95% of orthodontists believe that they have enhanced the self-esteem of their patients through orthodontics. This is confirmed by numerous anecdotes and testimonials from their patients.

• There were more adult patients being treated by AAO members in 2006 than in any other year since tracking began by age in 1989.

• More adult males are seeking treatment. They accounted for 44% of adult patients in 2006, up from 30% of adult patients in 1996.

• The average orthodontist has been in practice 16 to 20 years.

[American Association of Orthodontists, January 7, 2008]