How GP Ortho Courses Benefit Your Practice, Even When You Refer Out
General dentist orthodontic courses are among the best professional development choices a dentist can make. They can let you offer some orthodontic treatments instead of referring them out, increasing your practice’s potential income.
However, there are some reasons that motivate dentists to try orthodontic courses even if they still intend to refer most patients to an orthodontist. How can GP orthodontic courses help you?
1. You can diagnose more problems.
GP orthodontic courses don’t just cover how to handle the procedures themselves. They include every part of the treatment process, from diagnosis to orthodontic paperwork. Because you learn about diagnosis as well, you’re better able to identify orthodontic issues and refer patients as needed.
Orthodontic issues cover a wide range of problems, and many can be difficult to identify with an untrained eye. Many patients would never think to visit an orthodontist unprompted and rely on their dentist to spot any problems that would require referral. With the right training, you can easily identify these problems.
Like most dental issues, orthodontic problems can be treated more effectively the sooner they’re diagnosed. By increasing your ability to diagnose issues through American Orthodontic Society’s courses, you can provide better outcomes for your patients just by ensuring they see an orthodontist as soon as a problem is apparent.
2. You’ll have the knowledge you need to treat your patients.
Dentistry is a highly respected field that patients associate with a certain standard of knowledge, expertise, and training. To instill confidence among their patient bases, dentists must live up to this standard. This is straightforward when dealing with general dental issues handled at your practice but might not be so easy when discussing orthodontics.
When you identify a potential orthodontic issue and discuss it with your patient, the knowledge obtained through general dentist orthodontic courses can be a considerable asset. You’ll be able to answer their questions and explain more effectively why they need to be referred to an orthodontist.
If you don’t have the necessary knowledge to answer their questions, your patients may lose confidence in your overall abilities as a dentist. The lack of answers can also lead patients to become anxious ahead of their orthodontic treatment because you couldn’t adequately explain their situation.
3. You can offer Phase I treatment.
In pediatric orthodontics, treatment is divided into phase I and phase II. Some dentists who go through general dentist orthodontics courses choose to offer phase I treatment to their patients and then refer to an orthodontist for phase II.
Phase I treatment is generally less intensive and more focused on healthy development. These interventions take place when a child has a mixture of both baby and permanent teeth. Treatment can include space maintainers, specialized retainers, or limited braces. Staying with a familiar dentist for this phase can benefit your patients.
Offering phase I treatment can improve outcomes for patients without requiring you to complete all of the orthodontic treatment. Phase II is generally more involved, requiring full braces and ongoing adjustments. This can require more commitment from a general dentist, so you may choose to refer out instead.
4. You can develop your knowledge.
Expanding your knowledge and skills is always beneficial, which is why continuing education is so strongly encouraged in dentistry and other fields. Taking the time to acquire new knowledge and experience might not have any direct impact today, but someday you will likely find yourself in a situation where that knowledge pays off.
Improving your understanding of orthodontics also increases your comprehension of overall oral health. All elements of dentistry are related, so furthering your development in one area can serve to improve your confidence and abilities in another. Ultimately, that means you’ll be able to provide better care for your patients.
5. You can prepare for the future.
Continuing education is a great investment in your future. Even if you don’t intend to implement orthodontic treatment into your practice now, that could change. Going through GP orthodontic courses today will open that option up for the future, allowing you to make that decision if the time comes.
Your current situation may not call for the addition of orthodontic treatments, but you should keep your options open. You may eventually find that offering additional treatment options is highly beneficial in increasing revenue and drawing in more patients.
Invest in GP orthodontic courses today.
Whether you intend to start providing orthodontic treatment or not, taking courses from the American Orthodontic Society could be one of the best professional-development investments you make. You can view our course selection to see if they could be right for you and your staff.
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.