As a general dental practitioner, you might feel slightly nervous about tapping into this exciting and rewarding area of dentistry. Even the most skilled general dentists can start to get a little wobbly when they think of specialising in this area, but with a little expert help and advice, there is absolutely no reason that you can’t make a name for yourself as a provider of first-class orthodontic care.
Join a wider community
Having someone (or better still, several people) that can provide you with guidance on best practice, share tips on how to overcome times when you feel overwhelmed by your workload or help you identify common problems before they occur is key for many dentists looking to provide orthodontics.
Before you start your journey, look to join a wider community of professionals who are already practising in this area and see if there are any willing participants that are happy to guide you through the highs and occasional lows as you steadily build up your skills.
Don’t take shortcuts!
As a general practioner, you’ll often find that many of your patients want to avoid specific treatments such as extractions, even though you know that this isn’t the best treatment plan long-term and could lead to further problems down the line. Conducting a proper and thorough evaluation of each patient before recommending a treatment plan can not only prove to be more profitable but will ensure that your patient is happy with the results, even though you might have to coax them into spending a little more time in the chair.
Choose your sources carefully
Within orthodontics, you’ll come across a series of tried and tested concepts and new ideas that haven’t yet been proven to provide the results they boast about, so choose your sources carefully.
Conducting legitimate research using reputable sources can mean the difference between good and bad treatment decisions, so make sure that any information you use to make an informed decision has been scientifically proven.
Don’t be distracted by the latest new trends
Many of the best orthodontic practitioners actively avoid any shiny new additions to the market that make big claims, and as you hone your skills, you should instead be focusing your attention on getting the basics right.
Tooth movement, occlusion and orthodontic basics should be the foundation of your new career path, so getting these elements right at the offset, will stand you in good stead for the future.
Remember, you can always try with new techniques and approaches once you’ve proven your worth as a trusted orthodontic provider. You may even find you are driving the new advancements in this field.
How postgraduate dental education can help
Evidence based advanced education courses such as the London Dental Institute Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics can provide an excellent platform for general dentists to progress in orthodontics, meet fellow professionals and learn from experts. Click here to learn more.