Back to Journals » Patient Preference and Adherence » Volume 13

Implementing post-orthodontic compliance among adolescents wearing removable retainers through Whatsapp: a pilot study

Authors Zotti F, Zotti R, Albanese M, Nocini PF, Paganelli C

Received 9 February 2019

Accepted for publication 12 March 2019

Published 23 April 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 609—615

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S200822

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Francesca Zotti,1 Rinaldo Zotti,2 Massimo Albanese,1 Pier Francesco Nocini,1 Corrado Paganelli2

1Department of Surgery, Dentistry, Paediatric and Gynecology, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy; 2Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Brescia, 25100 Brescia, Italy

Purpose: To determine whether the use of social media is useful in improving compliance and follow-up attendance among patients wearing retainers after orthodontic treatment.
Patients and methods: Sixty post-orthodontic patients (aged 16–19 years), randomized in two groups: follow-up supported by participation in WhatsApp chat group (SG), and Control Group (CG). All patients were scheduled for quarterly check-ups for monitoring of orthodontic stability by measurement of intercanine width at the beginning of the study (t0) and every 4 months t1, t2, t3) for 1 year of observation. Patients in the SG additionally participated in a WhatsApp chat group, where they would send, on a weekly basis, snapshots showing his/her occlusion. Every month, the orthodontist acting as the moderator awarded the best five snapshots by publishing a ranking in the chat.
Results: Participants in the SG featured smaller changes from the intercanine widths at baseline (at debonding) compared to the CG patients at all times during 1 year of follow-up. Follow-up attendance was regular in both groups in the first 8 months of follow-up. After that, patient compliance decreased in the CG, with eight patients missing check-up appointments.
Conclusion: Engaging adolescent patients directly through WhatsApp activity seems to increase regularity in wearing removable retainers, attendance to follow-up schedule, and yield better long-term outcome in terms of orthodontic stability and compliance.

Keywords: apps, technologies, orthodontics relapse, orthodontic compliance, patient compliance, young patients

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]