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today EOS 2016 Stockholm

science & practice 92nd EOS Congress 5 The provision of orthodontics can be a life-changing experience for young patients whose “crooked” teeth can affect their confidence and self-esteem. Indeed, where mature patients present with a history of malalignment, equally beneficial and fulfilling results can be achieved. In government-funded systems, patients with congenital abnormalities re- ceive treatment that is essential to their ongoing oral health. Restorative dentists work closely with orthodon- tists, who can appreciate how small details can aid in achieving positive restorative outcomes. As a young dentist, I corrected a tooth in crossbite with a simple T-spring appliance. It was enjoyable and brought a different type of de- layed gradual satisfaction to the more cerebral but tenuous molar endodon- tics or the more artistic and instant composite build-up. I was not a spe- cialist, but I managed to do some or- thodontics. In contrast to my experi- ence, general dental practitioners are now more routinely providing tooth movement with the emergence of short-term orthodontics (STO). This has resulted in some conjecture as to the methods of achieving “straighter” teeth. Indeed, some may consider STO as an emerging entity competing with specialist orthodontics, but should it be? The specialist training pathway for orthodontics involves a competi- tive-entry three-year full-time course linked with the achievement of a master’s level qualification that many may feel daunted by. Indeed, navigat- ing the pathway from start to finish can be difficult academically and fi- nancially when factoring in fees and loss of earnings during training. Once qualified, the majority of these spe- cialists reside, like the majority of all specialists, in the south-east of Eng- land. With this skewed distribution of specialists and assumed need for ac- cess, it might seem prudent for gen- eral dental practitioners to contribute to meeting the need for orthodontics. Indeed, the long-cited managed clinical networks have yet to be fully realised, although all planning and documentation related to managed clinical networks identify general dental practitioners as integral to the function of the network. The number of orthodontic therapists has gradu- ally increased over the last ten years or so since inception of the first courses in Wales and Leeds. Thera- pists are allegedly more cost-effective to train and employ in a large orthodontic practice; however, unlike their hygiene or therapy colleagues, they cannot practise without a spe- cialist’s treatment plan and supervi- sion. Patients who qualify for ortho- dontic treatment under the UK gov- ernment-funded system need to be as- sessed according to the index of or- thodontic treatment need. There will be an obvious shortfall of adults or adolescent patients with minor malocclusions who do not meet the criteria who would like their teeth straightened. This cohort may have to seek treatment privately from ortho- dontic specialists or general dental practitioners. As such, these minor or straightforward cases may be man- aged in a number of different settings utilising various techniques with the advent of STO. This may have re- sulted in some territorial paranoia be- tween the two camps of traditional or- Short-term gains…long-term problems? The emergence of STO and its future implications in general practice. By Aws Alani, UK. With 3Shape TRIOS ® Orthodontics chair time savings with fast and accurate scanning in RealColor™ your business with the widest range of treatment options your clinical workflow with digital models Sign up for a product demo and get started today: Meet 3Shape in booth A03:41 Find 3Shape online AD Aws Alani is a Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at Kings College Hospital in London, UK, and a lead clinician for the management of congenital abnormalities. He can be contacted at

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