A Dental Checklist for Incorporating Orthodontics Into Your Practice

Dentists are well aware of how lucrative orthodontics is. The cost of implementing orthodontics and the return on investment is a no-brainer for dentists who want to advance their office and incorporate this popular dental treatment. It’s estimated that over 4 million Americans have braces. And that number will just keep growing thanks to people’s increased awareness, the exposure on social media, and continuing advances in orthodontic technology.

Orthodontics is the combination of both art and science that is used to help straighten teeth and create beautiful smiles. But, orthodontics does much more than make perfectly aligned teeth. Orthodontics helps align teeth so oral hygiene is better managed and the risk for tooth decay is reduced. If someone has a malocclusion, they are more at risk for jaw pain, TMJ, headaches, and problems chewing.

Despite orthodontics being a highly respected profession and treatment, it does not mean every provider is meant to offer this service. There are numerous logistic and financial considerations to think about before you incorporate orthodontics into your dental practice.

1. Do you have the patient demographic for orthodontics?

Do you constantly have patients inquiring about orthodontic treatment or requesting a referral to an orthodontic specialist? If so, you may want to consider adding orthodontics as a treatment for your dental practice.

These days, orthodontics is definitely not only for children. Around 25% of people wearing braces are adults and that number is only rising every year. As we become more aware of the mouth-body connection, we know that a healthy and properly functioning mouth is one of the best ways to safeguard our body’s health.

2. Does your state have any limitations on your scope of practice?

A general dentist or pediatric dentist has a scope of practice that may be limited, and this varies state-by-state. Some states allow general dentists to provide specialty care even without a specialty program or formal dental training. A good example is a general dentist who performs root canals even though they may not be an endodontic specialist.

A dentist who wants to offer specialty care should take continuing education courses designed for general dentists who practice orthodontics. The Basic Comprehensive Straight Wire Orthodontics course offered by Williams GP Orthodontic Seminars is a great first step in learning the basics of orthodontics. From this course, you receive comprehensive didactic and clinical interactions to get the confidence you need to treat orthodontic patients.

3. Is your team motivated and ready to implement change in your office?

In order for you to be successful in your practice, your team needs to be on board. Sometimes a major change in the office can be stressful for existing team members as they need to learn new skills, new orthodontic insurance, and communicate about new types of treatment.

The Orthodontic Assistant Training Course is a great way to get your employees on board. Through this course they will learn the terminology and the background needed to help successfully communicate with patients about orthodontics.

4. Do you feel confident to offer orthodontic services?

Orthodontics may seem simple, but there is a significant amount of education and clinical experience that goes into creating beautiful, harmonious smiles. Are you the type of dentist who enjoys learning new techniques? Are you ready to take on the commitment of learning a new specialty and introducing it to your team and patients?

Understanding the proper way to diagnose, treat, and manage orthodontic cases is the first step toward feeling confident and able to provide high quality care for your patients. Look for continuing education courses that focus on both didactic and clinical instruction. The Williams GP Orthodontic Seminars are designed for general dentists who want to learn orthodontics. You not only receive excellent coursework, but gain powerful mentorship from your instructors.

5. Does your practice have a plan to incorporate orthodontics?

Before you add orthodontics as a treatment option for your patients, make sure your practice is prepared. Having a patient accept a treatment plan is the first step, but after that you want to be prepared with regard to your staff, equipment, and insurance.

Make sure that your staff is trained so your office is competent and ready to treat orthodontics. It is an expensive and major treatment decision for many patients, so you want them to feel comfortable and confident in your practice.

Have the appropriate equipment, whether you use a digital scanner or impression putty to create models. Stay up-to-date with the latest technology, as newer dental equipment allows patients to see before-and-after treatment prior to even starting a case. Take the appropriate type of radiographs to ensure a patient is a good candidate for braces.

Orthodontics is a great way to improve your dental practice and increase your overall production. However, before offering this service, you need to be prepared by taking a continuing education course and properly training your staff. Once you’re ready and confident, your practice will be prepared to reach the next level of success.