If you are considering teeth straightening, there will be a number of things that will form your decision of where to go and what option to go for. With a variety of ‘quick fix’ solutions on the market, it’s important to remember that there really is no replacement for experience and skill. Orthodontics in general is a separate science to general dentistry and as such, requires separate training in the mechanics of bite, function and aesthetics. A specialist orthodontist will take this knowledge and skill to the next level in their pursuit to provide healthy, happy smiles to last the test of time – but what makes a specialist different?
In order qualify as a specialist orthodontist, it requires extreme dedication to the field of orthodontics – in terms of both time and passion for their art. From the perspective of time, it takes three additional years of postgraduate training to become a specialist orthodontist. After these three years, a Membership in Orthodontics (MOrth) is granted, in addition to being awarded a masters level degree. From here, the orthodontist will be registered with the GDC on the Specialist list for orthodontics and be able to provide specialist care.
f the specialist would like to pursue this further to become a consultant, it takes a further two years of training to be able to treat complex multi-disciplinary cases. This requires experience in oral and maxillofacial (reconstructive mouth, jaw, head and neck) surgery, children’s dentistry, or another specialty, in addition to dental foundation qualifications. Generally speaking, applicants should have publications in journals and will need to have passed further postgraduate exams before they can apply.
The earliest that they can apply for specialist training in the UK is 3 years post qualification as a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS). This means that in order to become qualified as a specialist orthodontist, a minimum of six years of postgraduate time has to pass – with a minimum of eight should they wish to become a consultant – testament to their dedication.
As a specialist, the focus is solely on the patient’s needs as opposed to purely aesthetics and function. A specialist focusses even more on the health aspect of teeth straightening, unlike just the aesthetics and/or function attributed to more straightforward methods. The emphasis as a specialist is to provide a patient with all of the possible options taking into account health, function, aesthetics and post treatment stability as a whole. A specialist will not only focus on the anterior (front) teeth, but aim to comprehensively treat patients to provide the most stable and functional result.
Specialist orthodontists have an expert knowledge base of the mechanics of tooth movement, meaning they are able to deal with both simple and a whole range of complex cases. They are focussed on the importance of biomechanics, using the right forces to ensure efficient, effective and safe tooth movements for lasting results.
So, when you are deciding on your teeth straightening options; speed, cost and aesthetics are just a few of the important aspects to consider. Only with a specialist will you receive the specialist care that focuses on every single aspect of treatment, from start to finish and with all considerations in mind, including the most appropriate option for your individual needs. Their commitment to training demonstrates their dedication and a real passion for delivering the best results for their patients. If you would like to speak with one of our specialists, please find your local practice to discuss your options.