Background: The spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to a major public health issue. This study aimed to assess the factors that influence the Lebanese people in undergoing an orthodontic treatment after the outbreak of COVID-19, as well as the factors that influence their choice of orthodontic appliance type.
Methods: 489 Lebanese participants (199 men and 290 women) were invited to fill a questionnaire developed on Google Forms. Eligible participants were simply Lebanese people including those who immigrated during the crisis. Dentists, dental students and foreigners were excluded from the study. The link for the questionnaire was sent to the patients via WhatsApp. It is a brief, structured 10-item questionnaire that assesses the relationship between the economic recession and the COVID-19 pandemic and the Lebanese participants' decision to initiate orthodontic treatment and their choice of appliance type.
Results: A total of 489 responses were obtained: 199 men (41%), 290 women (59%) with a mean age of 24 years ±8.4 years (age range: 13 to 64 years). Half of the participants feel anxious in consulting for an orthodontic opinion during the pandemic. Almost half of the respondents are thinking of starting orthodontic treatment after the start of COVID-19. The responses showed that most participants (71%) believe that the current economic crisis in Lebanon influences their decision to start an orthodontic treatment. Regarding the choice of the type of orthodontic appliance, a higher number of respondents choose metal braces (traditional) than other appliances. In a normal situation, the aesthetic of the appliance is the most important factor in choosing the appliance.
Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic crises in Lebanon had a negative impact on the financial and emotional well-being of the Lebanese people, on their decision to initiate an orthodontic treatment as well as on choosing the type of the appliance. However, despite the difficult circumstances facing the country, a big part of the respondents was not discouraged from initiating treatment.
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