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.
Dr Grant Duncan at his Norwood practice.