The Impact of Orthodontic Advancements on Patients and Your Practice
Our teeth impact every aspect of our daily lives. They affect the way we eat, how we speak, and how self-confident we are, so it’s no surprise that patients who suffer from things like overcrowding, spacing, or overjet are often hesitant to show off their smiles. Luckily, orthodontics treatment from a certified provider can correct these issues and give patients the beautiful, straight teeth they want. But there’s more to it than that.
Orthodontic advancements have allowed general and pediatric dentists to change patients’ facial aesthetics with specific treatments used in tandem. This feat is possible because they look at the facial bones and growth patterns and fully understand the dynamics between the lips, teeth, and jaws.
With the proper orthodontic education, you can provide the same treatment to your patients. And while a straight smile is important on its own, orthodontic treatment offers so much more.
Why a General or Pediatric Dentist Should Provide Orthodontics
Pediatric and general dental offices are already busy with restorative and preventive work. Why would you want to incorporate orthodontics into your practice too? For one, after becoming a certified provider, you open up opportunities for your patients to receive the treatment they need from the dental team they already love.
Consider also that you and your team establish real relationships with your patients. Where trust already exists, patients are more likely to accept recommended treatments. This makes incorporating orthodontics a smart business move for any practice.
Trained assistants can complete a bulk of the clinical work by updating records, taking X-rays, and removing bands. You can then see other patients while the assistants are busy. You can also use orthodontics in tandem with other treatment modalities to accomplish larger goals, like restoring function to the mouth, without having to refer out and coordinate appointments.
Benefits Extending Beyond a Straight Smile
Orthodontic treatment corrects misalignment of the teeth and jaw and even improves digestion, breathing, and speech. But it does so much more for patients than simply enhancing their oral health. Here are just some of the additional benefits of orthodontics:
1. Orthodontics can serve as an alternative to surgery.
The right orthodontic treatment plan can prevent invasive jaw surgeries, change skeletal structures, and alter facial appearance. Certainly, orthognathic surgeries have been performed successfully for decades. But what if you didn’t have to put your patients through the discomfort and inconvenience of a hospital stay?
With early enough intervention, braces and modern orthodontic appliances can shift teeth and bone structure together, saving the patient from spending time in the hospital and having their mouth wired shut. They won’t have to live on a liquid diet or spend up to a year recovering.
2. Orthodontics makes optimal oral health more attainable.
Orthodontic treatment is not only great for correcting malocclusion but also helps control periodontal disease. Correcting misaligned teeth makes routine brushing and flossing easier and decreases the risks of decay and gum disease progression. With teeth in their ideal positions, biting forces distribute evenly, which helps improve the condition of the gums.
Patients with misaligned teeth because of gum disease may undergo orthodontic treatment after their oral infection is controlled. The relationship between the teeth and jaws can be reestablished to promote healthy gums and prevent additional disease progression.
3. Combining orthodontics with other treatment modalities optimizes restorative outcomes.
Orthodontic treatment can make a big difference in patients’ oral health by fixing problems before they become significant enough to require surgical treatment. But those who do require more complex treatment will still benefit from having braces first.
Whether a patient’s treatment plan involves surgery, periodontal treatment, or restorative work, combining orthodontics with other treatment modalities offers the best long-term prognosis. The root causes of many cosmetic and restorative problems can be addressed first using braces, then followed by restorations like fillings, crowns, or veneers.
Reignite your passion for dentistry.
As a general or pediatric dentist, you’re passionate about what you do—and you’ve seen over and over how orthodontics delivers more than just beautiful smiles. Indeed, it positively contributes to successful results throughout general dentistry. Adding orthodontics to your practice can refuel your passion for helping patients.
The American Orthodontics Society (AOS) offers continuing education courses to expand your knowledge and teach you the skills necessary to provide the very best orthodontic care to your patients.
For more on this topic, we have a course about the essentials of orthodontics. Our Basic Straight Wire Course will help you treat up to 80% of prospective orthodontic patients. You’ll learn everything you need to know to begin providing straight wire orthodontics in your practice.
Contact the AOS today to learn more about our orthodontic courses and how they can benefit your office.
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.