Em­brac­ing treat­ments

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THE face of orthodon­tics is chang­ing, so spe­cial­ists need to keep on top of new and emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies to have suc­cess­ful ca­reers, a lead­ing den­tal sur­geon be­lieves.

Or­tho­don­tist Dr Grant Dun­can, who is found­ing pres­i­dent of the Aus­tralasian Or­thodon­tic Study Club and a mem­ber of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the Royal Aus­tralasian Col­lege of Den­tal Sur­geons, says in­vis­i­ble new tech­nol­ogy is re­plac­ing tra­di­tional braces.

He says it is one ex­am­ple of how the in­dus­try is shift­ing to­wards in­no­va­tive new treat­ments.

He says a nice smile im­por­tant to ev­ery­one.

‘‘ Or­tho­don­tists cre­ate beau­ti­ful smiles by bal­anc­ing the el­e­ments of the smile, which are the teeth, the soft tis­sues of the face and the skele­tal struc­tures of the face, so it’s cre­at­ing a har­mony be­tween those three com­po­nents to cre­ate beau­ti­ful smiles and beau­ti­ful faces,’’ he

is says. ‘‘ Aes­thetic con­sid­er­a­tions are big driv­ers in peo­ple de­cid­ing to get or­thodon­tic treat­ment be­cause there’s a lot of re­search that shows that a per­son’s smile is a fun­da­men­tal part to how they are per­ceived.’’

Dun­can says orthodon­tics is a spe­cialised area of den­tistry and grad­u­ates must first com­plete a five-year den­tal de­gree.

The post­grad­u­ate course is three years full time or equiv­a­lent and it is rec­om­mended spe­cial­ists spend at least two or three years work­ing in den­tistry first.

Dun­can says orthodon­tics is very com­pet­i­tive, with the Univer­sity of Ade­laide course ac­cept­ing only about three peo­ple each year and only about 20 stu­dents grad­u­at­ing na­tion­ally.

He says good or­tho­don­tists need to be com­pas­sion­ate and have a gen­uine in­ter­est in peo­ple.

‘‘ It’s an un­usual pro­fes­sion be­cause you’ve got to com­bine that with very good spa­tial per­cep­tion and man­ual dex­ter­ity skills be­cause you’re do­ing very tiny things with your hands all day,’’ he says.

Pic­ture: David Cronin

Dr Grant Dun­can at his Nor­wood prac­tice.

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