Article: Volume 14 Number 1 Page 36 - January 2021

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  Orth Update 2021; 14: 36-42

Orthodontics:  Traumatic Iatrogenic Complications Associated with Orthodontic Treatments: A Systematic Review

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Abstract: Adverse outcomes of orthodontic treatment have been reported in the literature, yet there are currently no systematic reviews on the subject. We undertook a comprehensive review of the literature using the Medline and Ovid electronic databases, complemented by manual searching. The occurrence of unforeseen iatrogenic traumatic complications due to orthodontic treatment was used as the primary outcome. Traumatic iatrogenic complications associated with orthodontic treatment are infrequent. The most common complication reported is ingestion of orthodontic components. In the majority of the cases, management of the offending agent resulted in complete recovery without further complaint. The exception to this is ocular injury sustained as a result of improper use of or accidental injuries related to orthodontic headgear. These injuries are potentially devastating for the patient.

Clinical relevance: Orthodontic treatment is carried out routinely and it is important to be aware of the unexpected complications that can occur during treatment and their consequences.

Author notes: Shaadi Manouchehri, BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg), General Dental Practitioner, Mona Lisa Smiles, New Barnet, London, UK, Ali Rezaei Haddad, BSc (Hons) MBChB, Foundation Doctor, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital and Kaveh Shakib, PhD, FRCS(OMFS), MRCS(Eng), FDS RCS(Eng), FDS RCPS(Glasg) Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. email:

Objective: To give examples of traumatic iatrogenic complications associated with orthodontic treatments, their occurrence and consequences to evaluate the current literature.