Objective: A study was done to estimate the orthodontic manpower requirements of Trinidad and Tobago.
Methods: A questionnaire was administered via e-mail to 9 of 11 orthodontists. Information from a population census, a report on the orthodontic treatment needs of children in Trinidad and Tobago and this questionnaire were used to calculate the number of orthodontists and chairside orthodontic assistants needed in Trinidad and Tobago.
Results: On average, 50 per cent of the 289 patients treated by each orthodontist in Trinidad and Tobago annually are children. Approximately, 13 360 patients can be expected to demand orthodontic treatment every year in this country. The number of orthodontists and chairside assistants required to treat these patients was estimated to be 44 and 154, respectively.
Conclusions: Currently, Trinidad and Tobago only has a quarter of the number of orthodontists and orthodontic chairside assistants required to treat the number of patients in need. As the demand is relatively high in Trinidad and Tobago and the number of orthodontists has increased slowly and inadequately for the past decade, the orthodontists are likely to remain adequately employed and happy with their job unlike dentists who are currently in private practice for less than a year.