Factors to be considered during orthodontic treatment of down syndrome patients

Modesta Ralytė1, Vilija Berlin1,2

1 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania

2 Vilnius University Hospital, Zalgiris clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania


In order to improve Down Syndrome (DS) patients’ mental state, facial aesthetics and chewing function, orthodontists should be involved in the team that provides overall care of DS patients. The purpose of this work is to review the factors that determine orthodontic treatment of a patient with DS – planning of treatment, practical decisions and strategies of cooperation with patients and their relatives.

Medline (PubMed), ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases were used to search for articles from 1985. Google was used to search for textbooks and Internet information. Literature sources were selected based on the following criteria: 1) all articles and other sources of information describing orthodontic treatment/general oral health care of a DS patient 2) all articles and other sources of information describing the etiological factors of DS 3) information in English or Lithuanian. 3 books, 5 online sources and 56 articles were found. 33 references were used, including 2 books, 3 online sources and 28 articles. Orthodontic treatment for patients with DS improves chewing, speech function, facial aesthetics and integration into society. However, the orthodontist must consider the medical, psychological and behavioral disorders that determine the course of a treatment. An interdisciplinary approach, such as perception of the patient’s general health and communication with colleagues is required. The process of the treatment should be complemented by solutions that are not always traditional while a reliable collaboration with the patient and their relatives should be understood as the best possible outcome strategy.

Key words: Down Syndrome, orthodontic treatment, specificity