Can all dentists fit braces?

The simple answer to that question is no. Orthodontics requires a level of expertise and skill that is not taught at dental school to undergraduates. Many dentists do dabble in orthodontics and some are as good as those that have gone on to take further training and examinations in order to become ‘specialists’ in orthodontics, but they are limited to the treatments they can provide. My Husband Ben is a specialist and has not only been trained to that higher level and passed the required examinations, but he has also passed on his knowledge and expertise to train me to the same standard of care he works to.

What can be worrying with the dabblers is they are often poorly trained or have limited exposure to orthodontics so may not fully understand the limitations of the treatments they offer. They are only able to use removable braces or aligners as they have no experience or training in the more conventional treatments that an orthodontist can provide. They can also offer the wrong advice to patients or portray conventional treatments in a bad light as they want you to buy the treatment from them. But most of the complaints and claims lodged by patients about orthodontic treatment in recent years arise from aligner treatments done by dentists who have little or no orthodontic experience.

Until recently any dentist could call themselves an orthodontist, but a recent ruling from the General Dental Council forbids the use of a title that may infer to a patient that the person is a ‘specialist’ in that area. This applies not only to orthodontics, but also to implants (implantology), gum disease (periodontology) and other areas of dentistry. Therefore I can no longer say I am an Orthodontist. I am now a Dentist whose practice is limited to Orthodontics, or a Dentist with an interest in Orthodontics. Essentially all I do is Orthodontics!

So given all of the above, before you embark on any orthodontic treatment please make sure you find out about the person offering you the treatment so you can be rest assured you are in the best of hands.

Paula

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