Choose your clinician carefully, says British Orthodontic Society
A report on EssexLive News detailing the orthodontic experience of a young male patient who wore unsuitable appliances for more than five years illustrates how important it is for patients to see a clinician who is suitably qualified.
The patient was told by dentist Bernhard Uytenbogaardt that he had an underbite and was quoted as saying, “He was quite vague and didn’t really explain it to me properly, but I just assumed he knew what he was doing.”
Richard George, director of external relations for the BOS said, “Patients are entitled to be given options for their care and have a clear explanation of treatment. If the patient is not happy with the explanation, they are encouraged to seek a second opinion from a specialist.”
“A severe underbite is often a complex malocclusion for which orthognathic surgery may be recommended. This case, which resulted in the patient being referred for surgery after being in braces for more than five years, reinforces how important it is to choose your clinician carefully.”
Richard said that members of the BOS would be happy to give advice to dentists in general practice to ensure that patients get the appropriate treatment. He added that the BOS has produced a leaflet for patients called ‘Orthodontics for Adults’ which provides guidance on how to choose the right practitioner to treat your malocclusion. The Society has also created a video – ‘Orthodontics: making the right choices for you’ – in which Professor Tim Newton, professor of psychology as applied to dentistry, outlines the kind of questions patients might ask when seeing a clinician. He makes the point that sometimes no treatment can be better than poor treatment.