How to find a REAL Orthodontist!
In recent years the popularity of orthodontic treatment has risen quite sharply as the general public has been exposed to the dramatic effects that can be achieved by well directed orthodontic tooth movement and to the benefits to health and appearance that a good bite can provide. The tell tale sign that a someone is having orthodontic treatment is the presence of the silver train tracks on teeth that are fondly called ‘braces’. But braces don’t straighten teeth by themselves! Braces are tools like a hammer and screwdriver might be for a carpenter or scalpel and sutures might be for a surgeon. Clearly you would not expect to give anyone a scalpel and say OK now you are a surgeon go take out my appendix, or here’s a shovel and some cement go and build a skyscraper. So why would anyone expect that by just putting braces on their teeth they would then get straight teeth? Braces like any other tool requires a skilled practitioner to direct its use! This practitioner would first figure out what the problem is! They may even be able to tell you what the cause of the problem is? Then they will make a plan or solution to the problem. This “treatment plan” must take into consideration medical and dental history and may require the extraction of teeth or the surgical alteration of the jaws and it may not even require braces at all! Also the practitioner would be able to tell you how to maintain your beautiful smile following treatment!
The skilled practitioner is the specialist Orthodontist! who will have spent at least 2 years after dental school specializing in Orthodontics. That means they may have been in a University for eight to eleven years and they would be very good at what they do because this is what they are doing all day every day.
Unfortunately, as the demand for orthodontic services has increased so has the number of persons offering to “put on braces.” Some of these are general dentists who have an obligation to refer more difficult cases to specialists but who may be able to diagnose and treat easier, less challenging situations. It gets worse, though, as there are some persons out there, putting braces on an unsuspecting public, who are not even dentists at all and your health could be in jeopardy if you allow any of these to work on you! Every day we see the damage that these “quacks” have wrought and hear the sad stories of people who thought they were saving a few dollars and who now have to pay even more to correct the damage done and to fix the teeth properly.
How do you find an orthodontist if you want to straighten your teeth? The first place to start would be with your general dentist. Ask him or her to refer you to a specialist Orthodontist. Of course, you know that both your dentist and orthodontist must have valid Practicing Certificates issued by the Dental Council of Jamaica. Make sure to check!
Your orthodontist may also be a member of the World Federation of Orthodontists via the Caribbean Society of Orthodontists and you would find them listed on the mylifemysmile.org website of the American Association of Orthodontists. If you are still unsure you could check with the Jamaica Dental Association at 927-3259 or with the Dental Council of Jamaica 633-7889.
Please do not be duped by a website or Facebook page remember this is YOUR health we are dealing with!