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Helpful Hints for General Dentists Doing Orthodontics (Part I)

Anyone presently doing or contemplating doing orthodontics should consider various principles that are often directly related to successful results. Here are several principles that are of great importance:


1. Don’t do anything on a patient that you wouldn’t do on your own child.
2. If the patient’s mother states concern over the process, be sure you seriously consider her opinion before proceeding.
3. If what you are going to do orthodontically has any chance of making the problem worse, reconsider your decision.
4. Whatever you do orthodontically, do it in the simplest, least invasive way that will get you the best result.
5. Make sure the procedure you consider will have the most permanent result with the least relapse and the least future problems.
6. The function of the dentition should preempt esthetics in most cases. To make teeth attractive at the expense of function should usually be avoided.
7. Active orthodontic procedures that last longer than 2.5 years should be avoided. Most patients lose their ability to cooperate after 2.5 years and usually end in a result that is less desirable.
8. Do not do orthodontics on a patient that has severe periodontal problems with mobility of the teeth.
9. Doing orthodontics in a way that is contrary to normal growth and development standards is not recommended. Expanding, particularly in the lower arch, beyond accepted normal limits is an example that usually results in considerable relapse.
10. Most malocclusions are in balance and any corrections that throw the dentition away from that balance will usually not be permanent. Squeezing teeth into an arch where there is a lack of space usually results in instability.


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