As many of you know, I’m not big on complicating things. I like simple, straight forward treatment, simple mechanics, pragmatic treatment plans and predictable results. I don’t believe in paying more to get faster results because my target demo expects braces to take two years and affordability is our key differentiator. I don’t try to tell the market what it wants, I work to deliver what it demands. I don’t believe in Class II correctors and I don’t try to do herodontics. I don’t use TADS for lots of reasons:
- They are invasive
- They are not practice growers
- I don’t make restorative problems into orthodontic problems
- Teeth only move as fast as biology allows and long cases are not practice growers
Though I was trained as an orthodontist and share the technophilia that our profession is known for, I work very hard to use the appropriate tools for the job at hand despite my desire to be the first kid on the block with a new toy and in opposition to the temptation to keep up with the Drs. Jones. So it is understandable that I get asked often why I am an advocate of Propel. It’s a fair question and one I’m happy to answer.
I grew up working on a farm. I learned a great deal about practicing orthodontics doing farm work. One of my mentors, Dr. Billy McKinley, used to talk about being a “fence post orthodontist” and that always rang true to me. I know which way the teeth will go because I spent a good deal of time setting fenceposts, stringing wire and watching what happened. I also learned that efficacy, economy and results were the only things that mattered. For example, if you had to set a few dozen fence posts, you don’t need an auger to dig the holes – post hole diggers work just fine because you have more manpower and time than need. However for some jobs you just have to have the right tool, no matter how often or how rarely you use it. This is why we kept an old Ford 8N tractor in the barn for the times when a vehicle got stuck in the mud or slid off into a ditch. We didn’t use it often but when we needed the tractor, nothing else will do. This is what Propel is for me. When I take over a practice and have cases that are overtime and in trouble I need a little something extra to get the job done that works irrespective of compliance (because the patient is burnt out by the time I get them). Nothing is as exciting as taking over a case with U4/L5 exts where the U4 space is closed and the L5 space is not and there is still overjet AND the case has been going on for over 30 months! It’s times like this when it is worth the money and effort and invasiveness to utilize Propel. The science behind the procedure is solid and I can tell you from experience that the results are accelerated to say the least. Of course I have a few cases of my own making that slide off into a ditch from time to time and I’ll use Propel in those cases as well.
I have friends like Jonathan Nicozisis who own high end practices in higher end markets that use Propel regularly to accelerate treatment. He has a successful practice and gets great results – I spent a weekend looking at his cases. But I will never be like him because my practice is not like his. I’ll keep the old tractor in the shed until I need it and I’ll be glad it’s there when I do. Hope this explains why I’m a Propel advocate. Stop by booth 451 at the AAO and talk to the Propel guys for more info. I hear they have a new product releasing at the AAO that is bound to shake things up a bit…