Orthodontics/Orthodontics

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Question
Hi Dr. Supan
I just had a consultation from the orthodontist I previously mentioned who is not a member of the American Association of Orthodontics or the American Board of Orthodontics. The consultation went well and he seemed very knowledgeable. I carefully read the website of his office and of another office where he practices with other orthodontists. Both state where and when he completed his orthodontic specialty program & earned his certificate in orthodontics as well as an MS in oral biology. I also looked on the Healthgrades website and it states that he practices Orthodontics and nothing else. I even asked his treatment coordinator if his office also is a dentist office and if he is only an orthodontic specialist, and she told me no and yes respectively to these questions. Based on this information, would you conclude he is in fact an orthodontist?   

At the consultation, he also stated that he uses and prefers the Damon (self-ligating) brackets, clear and metal. He said he likes them because there is less friction between the wire and the bracket to allow for easier movement, and that they use less force than other types of braces. Do you believe these things to be true?
Thank you.

Answer

Dear Ben,

Thank you again for writing.

Now, in your latest follow up question you asked several things. Let me parse the question into two more easily digestible parts.  

#1  You  wrote:

I just had a consultation from the orthodontist I previously mentioned who is not a member of the American Association of Orthodontics or the American Board of Orthodontics. The consultation went well and he seemed very knowledgeable. I carefully read the website of his office and of another office where he practices with other orthodontists. Both state where and when he completed his orthodontic specialty program & earned his certificate in orthodontics as well as an MS in oral biology. I also looked on the Healthgrades website and it states that he practices Orthodontics and nothing else. I even asked his treatment coordinator if his office also is a dentist office and if he is only an orthodontic specialist, and she told me no and yes respectively to these questions. Based on this information, would you conclude he is in fact an orthodontist?   

Yes Ben, I do believe your doctor is an Orthodontist. I do not criticize in any way a doctor who chooses not to become a member of the American Association of Orthodontists. Not all Orthodontists are. Being a member of the AAO does not necessarily ensure that the treatment will be excellent, nor does it ensure that the doctor is Board Certified. The point I wish to make is that you can receive excellent treatment by Orthodontists who are neither Board Certified, nor members of the American Association of Orthodontists. I personally happen to be Board Certified and a life long AAO Member.

#2  You also wrote:

At the consultation, he also stated that he uses and prefers the Damon (self-ligating) brackets, clear and metal. He said he likes them because there is less friction between the wire and the bracket to allow for easier movement, and that they use less force than other types of braces. Do you believe these things to be true?

Gosh Ben, this has been such a heated topic of discussion at many of the Orthodontic meetings I have attended.  Doctors show slides where the early movement is easier but the latter final changes are less so. After 35+ years in this profession, my view is that while a Doctor may have a preference for a style or type of bracket, in good hands almost any modern bracket can, with skilled treatment, proper diagnosis, and good patient cooperation, achieve an excellent result.

I have no issues with Damon style brackets. They are fine. Again, those who do not use this type of bracket should not criticize or belittle other Doctors who choose to use competing brands and techniques.

So Ben, it is Summer 2016, go forth and get that Orthodontic treatment so that you can enjoy a great smile. After treatment, wear your retainers, and maintain the alignments which you have achieved.  

I hope my brief follow up comments have been helpful. As you know Ben,  the website here encourages readers like you to always rate the answers and to resubmit with any follow up questions. Good luck Ben with your treatment AND your retainers, and again thank you for writing.

Paul Supan, DDS, MA, MPH
Board Certified Orthodontist

Specialist in Orthodontics
Specialist in Dental Public Health
http://www.braces.com
http://www.leesburgbraces.com

Please allow a full week for a reply; my replies are generally fairly extensive and researched. I am in full time Private Practice, lecture on occasion, and am involved in many volunteer activities. I am therefore not always able to respond to questions straight away. I sometimes consult with other doctors on complex interdisciplinary questions. This of course takes time.  Your understanding is appreciated.

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Paul Supan, DDS, MA, MPH

Expertise

First may I say please set your questions to Public so other readers can benefit from the response. Also, if you look at my comprehensive answers, they are not short 1 or 2 paragraph quickie replies that anyone can type out in < 5 minutes. Instead I often will ask other colleagues in other specialties for their advice in order to provide you the questioner with a more interdisciplinary perspective. This all takes time. I ask for readers to therefore allow 5-7 days. You will be rewarded with a very detailed response.

Because of the nature of Orthodontic questions, any pictures of the teeth and X-ray images would be very helpful. If you write to me and explain that you have crooked overlapping front teeth can be interpreted in many many ways, and my goal is to provide a specific response that meets your needs.

I hold double specialty credentials. I am Board Certified in Orthodontics and Board Eligible in Dental Public Health. I welcome questions regarding Braces, Invisible Braces, & Invisalign, as well as issues involving combination Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics alone sometimes is not enough to achieve that perfect smile. Gingival (gum) re-contouring, tooth reshaping, bonding and other services are sometimes needed. I also have substantial experience in the areas of Infection Control and Sterilization in the Dental Environment. My personal websites braces.com and Leesburgbraces.com are non-commercial for information purposes only and may provide you with some background to more precisely frame your question for allexperts.com.

Please allow a week for a reply. I am in full time Private Practice, lecture on occasion, and am involved in many volunteer activities. I am therefore not always able to respond to questions straight away. Your understanding is appreciated.

Experience

Board Certified Orthodontist (ABO Diplomate) with over 25 years of Private Practice experience. Second Specialty Certificate in Dental Public Health with research experience at NIH, and Epidemiology Training & Research at Harvard, NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Postgraduate Masters degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a Master of Arts Degree in Education.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Academy of General Dentistry, College of Diplomates of the ABO, OSAP - Office Sterilization & Asepsis Procedures Organization, Others

Publications
Available upon Request.

Education/Credentials
BS College of William & Mary, DDS Medical College of Virginia, Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree Harvard School of Public Health. Dental Public Health Specialty Certificate from NIH. Orthodontic Specialty Certificate from University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center. USPHS clinical research experience at NIH, and Epidemiology Training & Research at Harvard, NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control. Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD), and Fully Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. Board Eligible in Dental Public Health. Visiting Adjunct Associate Professor at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, Nashville, Tennessee.

Awards and Honors
Available upon Request Please see my personal websites braces.com and Leesburgbraces.com for further personal background.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon Request

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