Orthodontics is easy.
Figure out what is wrong. Decide on a plan to get the best possible outcome. Put the brackets in the middle of the teeth in alignment with the long axis, level and align, close spaces, wear elastics, remove and retain.
Piece of cake, right?
Treatment is that simple in the vast majority of cases IF you are well trained (and constantly learning) and IF you are very careful to align your best interest with that of the patient. It sounds simple but orthodontists find themselves in several scenarios where there is potential for the best interests of the healthcare provider and the patient to get out of whack. Here are a few examples of potential pitfalls that could snare an orthodontist if he or she is not vigilant:
- The patient and parent want to start and are ready to start (financially) but the Es are still in place and the roots of the 5s are not fully formed.
- Some insurance companies and state Medicaid programs pay based on length of treatment – the longer the braces are on the more they pay.
- Treatment is finished but payment is not.
- Is early treatment and two phases of treatment necessary?
What is the answer? What should the orthodontist do? Simple.
Do for others what you would do for your own family members.
If you follow this mantra strictly and spend less than you make, you will find it very difficult to get crosswise of the best interests of your patients. We orthodontic specialists certainly don’t want to find ourselves being hypocrites like the Primary Care Dentists who offer to do braces and aligners for their patients but send their kids and spouses (and even themselves) to an orthodontic specialist…