J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2023 Apr-Jun;27(2):426. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.jomfp_136_22. Epub 2023 Jul 13.
BACKGROUND: Pain and anxiety are the most reported negative effect of orthodontic treatment which can influence the quality of life and are responsible for the discontinuation of treatment. These unpleasant experiences raise the stress levels reflected by the increase in the concentration of salivary alpha-amylase and nitric oxide. These can be assessed through various subjective methods which have limited value as it depends on the patient’s honesty, assessing whether using objective methods are reliable.
OBJECTIVES: To assess pain and anxiety-induced stress levels using both physiological (Salivary alpha-amylase and Salivary nitric oxide) and psychological testing instruments (Visual analog scale and State Trait Anxiety Inventory Y6) during the initial phases of fixed orthodontic treatment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 30 patients were included. Pain and anxiety instruments were applied and saliva samples were collected from patients before and after separator placement, before and 48 h after archwire insertion and 1 month after archwire insertion.
RESULTS: The mean values of alpha-amylase (235.3600), nitric oxide levels (2.060) and pain scores (7.8667) were higher 48 h after archwire insertion (T3) which are statistically significant, P = 0.00. Anxiety scores (57.7000) were high before separator placement (T0). No statistically significant correlation was found among pain and alpha-amylase, anxiety and nitric oxide levels.
CONCLUSION: Initial alignment phases of fixed orthodontic treatment affect patients’ anxiety and stress levels. The findings could be a result of the psychological stress due to procedures in the initial phases of the treatment.