“A smile is the universal welcome”. Max Eastman
the best way to complete our dental studies is undoubtedly taking up a Master’s program in Orthodontics. A decision to get a postgraduate degree in orthodontics is a fantastic election. Today all of us value more our looks and our teeth esthetics.
¿What a student of Orthodontics should know when he finishes his studies?
All of us want to have nice teeth, durable and healthy, and this is why orthodontics is a profession with great present and even better future. The buccal problems are everydays problem. Environmental pollution produces more mouth breathers and more problems. As well as fast food, soft diets, bad habits (such as smoking), or bad dental hygiene, generate many problems that need a solution.
Orthodontics is a dental specialty which studies, prevents and corrects the dental arches shapes. Apart from correcting the position of jaws to re-establish both morphological and functional balance of the face and the mouth. Although, it also serves to improve esthetics. Therefore, it is a specialty which is much more complex as it seems at the first sight. We can say it is much more than “moving teeth”. Therefore, it requires professionals who are highly specialized and qualified.
Nowadays there are many and very different possibilities to correct our teeth, apart from the traditional braces. Examples for this we have in sapphire brackets, invisible orthodontics, lingual orthodontics, Damon brackets, interceptive orthodontics, and of course, metallic brackets.
Therefore, both during and after our studies, we have to be aware of the necessity to be authentical professionals. In this way we will guarantee to our patients that they will get the smile they have been waiting for the whole their lives. The smile that will help them to get back the self-confidence they have lost a long time ago.
“It is easier to get what you want with the smile than with the sword”.
During your academic studies, the best keys to be better student of orthodontics are:
- Respect your professors and your colleagues.
- Never avoid clearing your doubts because of a shame and be always ready to learn.
- Take notes and study a lot.
- Look for the complementary information.
- Prepare your cases on time.
- Accept critics of your professors or colleagues.
And above all, believe in yourself and have a desire to study.
After obtaining your degree, a young professional should be very well familiarized with the tools of his profession. In Athenea Dental Institute we are aware of this and we train our students at all our orthodontic courses so they have a perfect knowledge of their profession.
What qualities a good professional in orthodontics should have?
To carry out a perfect diagnosis: The diagnosis is the beginning of everything. It is essential to study thoroughly what happens to our patient, in order to get to the best solutions. In many cases, we should get back to the books and consult other colleagues in order to avoid errors due to bad diagnosis.
Carry out a perfect treatment plan: Now that we have a diagnosis, which is the best solution? An extraction? Secuence of arches? etc. They are only some of the questions a professional should put to himself and which will be answered with the use of intraoral and extraoral photographs, study models, X-rays (panoramic and profile), cephalometric analysis, mounting in articulator, etc.
Carry out a perfect treatment: The treatment should be carried out perfectly from the beginning to the end. We must finish all the stages of the treatment without any mistakes and having in mind the special evolution of each patient.
Be familiar with the treatment stages in children: Many dental problems have their origin in the growth stage and development of children. It is important to know the stages and what small problems can be avoided so they won’t become greater. If our patients are children, it is in our hands to inform parents about the possible future problems (for example, which can be solved easily in the very same moment).
The importance of biomechanics: A good orthodontics student should read classics such as Nanda’s, Marcotte’s books, or Dr. Mulligan’s articles (Common sense mechanics JCO). The biomechanics is the main axis of all orthodontic treatments. It refers to the physical force which is transferred to teeth with the help of orthodontic wires, elastic chains and springs.
Expert in brackets positioning: The expertise in brackets positioning doesn’t imply only to position the appliance. There are other aspects that have to be taken into account, such as open or cross bite, and to position them with the prescriptions such as Alexander or MBT.
Learn how to bend arches: Frequently happens that we have to add torque to a tooth. So, we must practice this task. We recommend a historical video from Michigan University from 1974, “Basic techniques of arch bending”. Although today so any bends are not used any more, it is a video that any student should see.
Familiarize yourself with the updated technology in your specialty within the orthodontics: Orthodontics evolves constantly, it is very important to be updated with the latest technology in order to be able to offer to your patients the best treatments adapted to his needs, and according to the best modern techniques.
Have wide knowledge in prevention and intervention in buccal health: Buccal health has become one of the most important topics within the orthodontics. It is a social responsibility.
A good service to a patient: The human factor is essential in treatment of patients. They trust in us and we cannot fail their expectations. We should be kind, empathic, cheerful and patient, because many of our patients come to our offices nervous.
Be good economist in our business: Although the most important thing is to be a good orthodontist, it is also very important to know how to manage our business so we can get the most of it.
Continue studying: To be a good professional we must continue studying and doing specialized courses and even more in a profession which develops continuously. Therefore, the updating is essential within the world of dentistry.
Learn how to work in a team: For many years, it is well-known that teamwork is one of the best ways to learn and to get the best results. This is because dental problems usually come with other problems which correspond to other specialists in medicine. The capacity to work as a part of a team should also be one of the qualities of a good orthodontist.
How should you choose a good dental course?
Therefore, it is very important to choose the best dental course. What should we look for? What requirements it must fulfil?
1.A good study plan
It should include all aspects of dentistry: malocclusions, orthodontics, etc.
2. Good teaching staff
The professors should be highly qualified and experienced.
3. A training center with good reputation
A training center with good reputation guarantees us the first two points, the quality study plan and professors. Furthermore, it is our first presentation letter when we get a degree and start looking for out first job as an orthodontist.
What postgraduate programs in orthodontics can we find?
If we want to be the best in our profession, we shouldn’t stay anchored. The best way is to continue studying and to choose the postgraduate program that fits best to what our patients demand in that moment.
- Advanced orthodontic course
- Lingual orthodontic course
- Orthodontic treatments combined with orthognathic surgery
- Diagnosis and treatment plan in CSW technique
- Orthodontics with self-ligating brackets
- Dental photography course
- Sleep apnea
- Functional appliances
- Pathology and orthodontics
- Small dental movements
- Form and function in orthodontics
What professional possibilities the orthodontics has?
A good orthodontist can work for someone else: Spanish State Health Care doesn’t cover most of dental problems. By word of mouth, we get the best references if we can work as freelance. And to start we can become a part of a small dental clinic with more experienced professionals.
Working with the well-known company, recognized in the sector: It is a good start. If you are a good professional, you can be sure they will bet on you. It is also a way to assure your professional future without the need to be freelance which always implies a certain level of risk.
As lecturers or researchers: Another possibility, if teaching is one of our true vocations.
If you want to be the best professional in the specialty of orthodontics, choose the best postgraduate program and remember to be the best student. These are two keys to success. In this way, if you are really good at your work, you can be sure you’ll always have plenty of patients.