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Free article: Introducing orthodontics into a dental practice

Published: Wednesday, 23 November 2016

This article demonstrates how a dental practice can offer orthodontics where only limited patient treatment is required.


  • Orthodontics in children has become more popular in recent years because fixed braces are seen as a fashion accessory.
  • It has also become a more attractive option for adults due to the availability of less visible treatments.
  • Orthodontics can be offered in general dental practices (GDP) where the patient requires treatment that is not complex.
  • Limited treatment orthodontics is possible in a GDP by using a specialist consultant who can help with the initial assessment and be available to the individual dentist throughout the patient’s treatment.
  • Introducing orthodontics to patients is an attractive option for GDPs as it can increase practice income.

Orthodontics is a dental technique which has become very fashionable in recent years despite the fact that many dental schools do not teach orthodontics to their undergraduates. Nowadays, many children seem to want fixed appliances because they are in fashion. They want visible treatment which will re-arrange their teeth and they are disappointed if advised that these may not be necessary – a complete reversal of former years.

Likewise, adults who may have dismissed the idea of ‘braces’ when they were in their teens have now become aware of the possibility of improving their appearance by the use of sophisticated limited treatment outcome orthodontics (LTO®) which is likely to make orthodontics less expensive, less visible, and therefore more attractive for them.

Offering orthodontics in GDPs

I have heard many orthodontists telling general dental practitioners (GDP) that orthodontics is a specialist subject to be taught only as a post graduate topic. This is certainly the case with complex treatment, but provided the GDP understands the limits of his or her capabilities and has appropriate training, then there is no reason why they should not carry out orthodontics in their own practice.

Offering orthodontics is of great benefit to the patients and is a considerable source of added income to the general dental practitioner.

Support from specialist orthodontists

In order to enable GDPs to offer orthodontics, Oralign provides a service where all the treatment diagnoses and planning is carried out by a Registered Specialist Orthodontist who is online throughout the case to assist and advise should the GDP have any concerns.

Oralign mainly treats the aesthetic aspects of orthodontics. If you have a patient who requires complex treatment, Oralign will not attempt to get the GDP to address this but will stick rigidly to fairly ‘simple’ orthodontics to improve appearance.

Giving patients what they want

An analysis of our adult patients reveals that this is what they want. They do not want complex orthodontics but they simply want to improve their smile. Likewise, if the treatment demands that teeth be extracted we will advise that this is unsuitable for most GDPs. We want you to get a successful result and we want to keep you clear of any litigation.

Orthodontic techniques

We use different appliance types, both aligners and fixed, to achieve our goal and they are selected according to the case and in consultation with the GDP.

Each Oralign technique is designed specifically to be carried out by a GDP after some training, to be certain that he is confident and comfortable with the technique.

The whole process requires very little surgery time, making it easy to fit into a busy schedule. The detailed treatment is diagnosed and planned by a specialist orthodontist who gives simple step by step guidance, making it very easy to carry out the treatment. The named, designated registered specialist orthodontist will be available to the practitioner right from the start of the treatment to its successful conclusion.


It is important to emphasise that if a case is assessed by the orthodontist and is found to be unsuitable for any of the techniques, the practitioner will be advised that the case should be referred to a specialist orthodontist. The training course will help to ensure that the GDP selects only cases suitable for him to treat to avoid causing unnecessary disappointment.

Further information

Oralign offers the following services:

  • assigned Specialist Orthodontist to each case
  • specialist diagnosis and treatment planning for your patients
  • specialist support and mentoring during treatment for all practitioners providing orthodontics
  • the best in appliance technology
  • training for the GDP and their team
  • a one stop shop for removable, aligner, fixed and retainer needs.

For further information, or to view course locations and dates, visit the website at:

About the author

Lester-ElmanDr Lester Ellman is a general dental practitioner with many years of experience in dental care with a particular interest in cosmetic dentistry at his Manchester practice. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Website: