Patients’ expectations and experience regarding orthodontic mini-implant treatment: a pilot study

Gustė Markevičiūtė1, Rūta Almonaitienė1,2

1Institute of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

2Vilnius University Hospital Zalgiris Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background and aim. Orthodontic mini-implants are being used more and more in daily practise as temporary skeletal anchorage devices. However, this kind of treatment is not well-known among patients. This uncertainty causes anxiety and fear which often makes patients’ expectations regarding pain and discomfort exceed real difficulties experienced. The aim of the work was to investigate and compare patients’ expectations and experience regarding orthodontic mini-implant treatment.

Material and methods: the study comprised 23 patients, who recieved treatment with orthodontic mini-implants. Participants had to complete a two-part questionnaire: the first part consisted of questions regarding patients‘ expectations before receiving mini-implants and the second part consisted of questions regarding patients‘ experience after mini-implant placement. To evaluate pain and discomfort visual analog scale (VAS) was used.

Results: patients were anxious about the need of treatment with the mini-implant the most while possible additional costs evoked the least anxiety. On average, pain expectations values of the patients were 7.09 and 6.74 during mini-implant placement and the week after the procedure respectively. However, they actually experienced statistically significant lower pain values (p < 0.05) – 5.57 during mini-implant placement and 5.4 during the week after. Significantly more patients consumed analgesics on the day of mini-implant placement than during the week after the procedure (p < 0.05). All of the investigated unpleasant sensations were experienced less often than expected. Statistically significant differences were found between difficulty in brushing teeth, smile aesthetics and foul breath expectations and experience (p < 0.05). Increased gingival sensitivity was the most often complain regarding soft tissues’ condition after mini-implant insertion.

Conclusion: patients treated with orthodontic mini-implants experience less pain and other type of discomfort than they expect.

Keywords: mini-implant, expectations, experience, pain, discomfort, orthodontic treatment.