Use of orthodontic mini-screws among orthodontists in Saudi Arabia

Eman Jamal Fatani, Rawabi Mahmoud Eskandrani, Lina Omar Alfadil


Background: Orthodontic anchorage is a technique used to avoid undesired tooth movement. The miniature screw (mini-screw) implant is an orthodontic innovation that was introduced to circumvent the limitations of conventional anchorage systems. Mini-screws, known as temporary anchorage devices (TADs), give clinicians good control over tooth movement in 3 dimensions and can assist orthodontists in anchorage-demanding cases.

Methods: A questionnaire was distributed by online survey using SurveyMonkey and on paper during orthodontic meetings in Saudi Arabia. Collected data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software (version 23, IBM). A 2-way cross-tabulation and Fisher’s exact or Pearson chi-square tests were used to evaluate statistically significant differences. A P-value < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

Results: Of 133 respondents, 72 (54.1%) of practitioners worked in the governmental sector and 61 (45.9%) worked in the private sector. A total of (87.3%) of practitioners in the governmental sector and (80%) of practitioners in the private sector reported using mini-screws in clinical practice. Practitioners who reported that they did not use mini-screws in clinical practice listed the following reasons: “I don’t have enough information” (33.3%), “It’s a surgeon’s job” (11.1%), “Not available in the hospital” (29.6%), and “Other” (25.9%). A total of 60.2% of practitioners loaded mini-screws immediately, 8.3% loaded them 1 week after implantation, 11.3% loaded them 2-3 weeks after implantation, and 3.8% loaded them >3 weeks after implantation. Regarding the method of placement, 63.2% of practitioners used radiography for placement guidance/confirmation, 9.8% used a self-made guide, and 8.3% did not use a guide.

Conclusions: Lack of education and training are major reasons that practitioners do not use orthodontic mini-screws in Saudi Arabia. Increased efforts to organize seminars and workshops may motivate practitioners to incorporate mini-screw usage into routine practice.


Mini implants, Mini screws, Orthodontic anchorage procedures, Orthodontics, Orthodontists, Temporary anchorage devices

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