Catching up with co-owner of Park Lane Orthodontics Ben Buffham to ask him what makes him most proud about working at the practice, what he finds most satisfying about his profession and his opinion on the recent developments in orthodontics….
What is the most satisfying part about your job as an orthodontist?
Without sounding like a cliché – helping people smile. It gives us all such pleasure to see the change in people through their treatment. I just wish we could wave a magic wand for everyone and do it immediately, but then some things really are worth the wait.
Can you tell us a little more about your Smile Rapide treatment?
Orthodontics has changed in the last few years. Like a lot of dentistry, there has been a shift form “NEEDS” based treatment to “WANT” based treatment. This has meant that patients are looking more for what they want to change about their teeth, and this isn’t always what we see that needs to be sorted out. The market growth for adult orthodontics has exploded and more and more of our dental colleagues are offering “quicker” brace options to their patients. They are giving their patients what they want – simple correction of usually the front teeth only as quickly as possible. Try as we might, it is difficult to compete with that. What concerned the orthodontic community about non- specialist treatments was whether the patients were being properly diagnosed and offered the full range of options to correct teeth. Also there were concerns that patients didn’t know that the results of the treatment were going to be more limited in their objectives than full treatment. This sadly, has led to more complaints and claims against dentists.
We already did what are called “limited objectives” treatment for our patients, so we decided to brand it and call it Smile Rapide. The benefit of having this treatment with us is you are getting your teeth assessed by a specialist trained in orthodontics, so you will know all the possible alternatives for you. We can explain all the pros and cons of each approach and advise you what will work best. That means you have the right information to take the next step. We also have a proven track record in treating all types of orthodontic problems and how to alter the braces to get the best outcomes (sometimes you need to add bends to the wires or re-stick the brackets in a better position). After all, even if a sophisticated program has designed the brace, we are dealing with the human body and not everything will always go to plan. It’s a bit like an airline pilot – the hard bit is the start and finish and knowing when to change the direction to get to the destination.
What is the most commonly used braces treatment at Park Lane?
Probably the biggest 2 are Invisalign and cosmetic (tooth coloured) fixed braces.
What makes you most proud about working at Park Lane?
The fact that we have built up the practice over the 11 years we have owned it. We are both really proud of our team too. They really put their whole heart and soul into looking after our patients. Running the business and being clinicians is really demanding but very satisfying too. To know that we have shaped our path and achieved the goals we have set is amazing.
Are you a close-knit team at Park Lane?
Most definitely yes – it’s like a family. We have a great relationship with the team and they all care about us and each other. It’s really lovely to work with such a great group of people.
Invisalign has seriously taken over the last few years – what is your take on it?
Invisalign is a fantastic opportunity for people to have treatment. So many would miss out on a better smile if all we had to offer is fixed braces. We are getting amazing results with it – I think they are getting better and better at moving teeth. It’s changing the whole business for us. We love Invisalign at the practice – patients have fewer niggles and sore spots which means less emergency appointments.
In your opinion, what is the most significant development in orthodontics to date?
I think digital dentistry is really shaping the future for every specialty of dentistry.
How has your job changed since getting the iTero scanner at Park Lane?
We do a lot less impressions! The really great thing we are finding is we can show patients how their teeth can look after they are straightened, and that’s making more patients take the brave step to have their treatment.
Contact us today to book a consultation or to find out more information about treatments.