Is Taking a Straight Wire Ortho Course the Best Decision?

The Growing Demand for Orthodontics

Orthodontics is only becoming more popular each year thanks to social media and greater awareness of the importance of our oral health. If you are a dentist wanting to expand your practice and offer orthodontics, there is no question that you need to take a comprehensive continuing education course to get a solid foundation. 

Clear aligner therapy is an orthodontic option that continues to generate more revenue each year, reaching a staggering $4 billion dollar market in 2022. Yes, clear aligner therapy is certainly a dominant force in the orthodontic field and plays an important role when appropriate, but straight wire orthodontics is still necessary and desired. Here are some of the top reasons why you and your practice can still benefit from offering straight wire orthodontics. 

1. Some cases are too complex for clear aligners.

Clear aligners are popular, but if they were appropriate for every case, traditional braces would have been outdated by now. The truth is there are certain malocclusions and oral health conditions unsuitable for clear aligners. Braces are a good option for all malocclusions, but severe ones that include jaw discrepancies, missing teeth, dental implants, and other prosthetics are better with braces. 

Some patients have severe crowding and require appliances like palate expanders and mini implants to help straighten teeth and modify jaw shape. The Basic Straight Wire course gives dentists the education and exposure to treat 70%-80% of Class I and II malocclusions by course completion. Without taking this course, can you confidently know when you should recommend and treat using braces over clear aligners?

Clear aligners have certain limitations, despite how advanced the technology is. Taking a clear aligner therapy course for general dentists is the best way to help identify between cases that are appropriate for aligners and those that require traditional braces. 

2. Straight wire orthodontics is predictable.

For most trained dentists, braces are a sure thing because they are predictable and do not rely as heavily on patient compliance to help shift the teeth into the proper position. When you take a straight wire ortho course with the American Orthodontic Society (AOS), you get didactic and hands-on instruction on how straight wire orthodontics is a reliable system to create proper occlusion. 

Traditional brackets and wires help move teeth into the proper positions using slow, gentle force. There is no need to worry about tracking aligners, troubleshooting lost or broken aligners, or adjust via refinements with new trays at the end of treatment. 

3. Consider the cost factor.

Insurance is more likely to at least partially cover medically necessary braces, but there are plenty of dental insurances that still consider aligners strictly cosmetic and will not cover them, leaving patients with a greater out-of-pocket cost. 

Likewise, consider your out-of-pocket costs for your practice. Braces rely on brackets and wires and an occasional lab fee for a retainer (if you don’t fabricate them in-house). Clear aligners require higher lab fees to fabricate aligners and can be $1,500 or more for the dentist. 

While this cost would never deter you from offering your patient the best treatment for their individual case, it is important for you—and your patients—to understand the additional costs up front. For patients who are cost conscious, this may be a determining factor in their treatment choice. 

4. Certain age groups may not tolerate aligners.

Not everyone is a good candidate for clear aligners. Sometimes younger patients cannot tolerate aligners because of compliance issues. Younger patients can also forget to wear their aligners for the required 22 hours a day—or worse, may lose or accidentally toss their aligners in the trash. 

It’s also not always recommended that a child undergo clear aligner therapy before all their baby teeth have fallen out, but there may be cases where children are indeed candidates.

On the other hand, there is no upper age limit to receiving clear aligner therapy, and this treatment is becoming increasingly popular with older adults wanting to improve their smiles.  

5. The AOS Straight Wire Ortho course can give you a foundation.

Think about the field of orthodontics. In order to be an orthodontic specialist, you need to master all areas of the field. This means learning the foundation of orthodontics, including the biomechanics of shifting teeth using all types of treatment. A straight wire ortho course will teach a general and pediatric dentist all about properly diagnosing cases, record taking, and treatment planning. Once you have the basics down, you are then able to confidently discuss all treatment options with a patient, including braces and aligners. Having the full picture is key since aligner therapy patients make up only a portion of those who will need or want it. 

Get started today with the AOS Basic Straight Wire Course.

When you take a straight wire ortho course with AOS, you will learn how to identify patients for both straight wire orthodontics and clear aligner therapy. Therefore, it is not only wise but imperative to take a course in traditional orthodontics if a patient is not a candidate for clear aligners. Find out more and browse upcoming AOS courses today. 

To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.

March 1-2, 2024

AOS Event Center
1785 State Highway 26
Grapevine, Texas 76051

1st Session: March 8-10, 2024

AOS Event Center
1785 State Highway 26
Grapevine, Texas 76051

April 12-13, 2024

AOS Event Center
1785 State Highway 26
Grapevine, Texas 76051

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