Specialist orthodontist Dr Derek Mahony has been running courses for general practitioners in orthodontics for 20 years and has been heard by over 10,000 dentists worldwide.
Most of the dentists he speaks to tell him that orthodontics was the missing link in their education and since taking his courses, they are now enjoying incorporating orthodontics into their practice. They find this is a real practice builder and are rewarded not just financially, but intellectually, in performing orthodontics in their general practices.
Dr Mahony is aware that some of his specialist orthodontic colleagues do not agree with GPs being taught orthodontics but says "I find this hard to believe as every other specialty in dentistry offers continuing education courses in their field. Every endodontist and oral surgeon is happy to help a general practitioner to achieve the highest standard of excellence that they can, but I don't always see this view within the orthodontist/general practitioner interaction. I strongly encourage general dentists to work with all their specialist colleagues for the mutual benefit of their patients.
"In surveys we have undertake on a regular basis, we note that general dentists who have completed my orthodontic training programmes tend to refer more patients to their specialist orthodontists now than before they leant orthodontics. This is because as a general dentist learns more about orthodontics, they may treat 70% of the cases that come into the office. However, they will refer the other 30% to their local orthodontist. In many of these scenarios, this 30% represents ten times the volume of cases that would have normally been referred. This is because the dentist is more highly trained as to which cases to refer and when is the appropriate time to commence orthodontic treatment".
Dr Mahony is launching his 2-year programme "The Full Face Philosophy" - a Mini Residency in Orthodontics in Sydney, starting February 2012. The programme has been taught with great success in the UK and the USA and differs from other courses in that it focuses not just on the alignment of teeth, but also on the facial balance, as well as identifying the cause of the malocclusion. His philosophy is that appliances alone will not make you a good orthodontic clinician and any orthodontic problem is not only a tooth problem, but should be studied through aspects of development and function.
"For orthodontic treatment to be successful at any level, it is essential for the general dentist to have a thorough understanding of normal facial growth and development and to possess the skills to recognize developing malocclusions. My courses are aimed at providing this information so if nothing else, the general dentist will be able to increase their skills in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. We supplement the clinical teaching with the use of typodonts and a number of practical exercises, including wire bending, bracket positioning, Cephalometric tracing and arch wire progression strategies."
The programme starts with modules on orthodontic diagnosis and cephalometrics. There is a strong emphasis on preventive or interceptive orthodontics, particularly in the mixed dentition. Then comes 2 intense modules on the treatment of Class II and Class III malocclusions. The mechanics are based on passive self-ligation and later in the programme, more difficult malocclusions are taught, such as vertical growers and open bites. The course also has modules on periodontics, implantology and the restorative/orthodontic interface. Biomechanics and aesthetic appliances are reviewed as well as the management of TMD. The concept of long term stability, via the use of retention strategies, is taught and the doctors are also exposed to the possibility of working with OMF surgeons in the correction of severe skeletal malocclusions.
Specialists are involved with lectures given by Specialist Orthodontists, Periodontists, Maxillofacial Surgeons, Prosthodontists, Paediatric Dentists and Ear, Nose and Throat specialists.
There is an expectation that all course participants will prepare themselves for each course session, via journal reading and case presentation skills. Every doctor attending the programme is expected to present cases of their own, over the 3-year period, as well as to read all the references that have been given to them.
Following the course, doctors can upload case records and questions onto www.fullfaceglobal.com to a panel of instructors and are given advice as to whether their case is suitable for their level of experience, or whether it should be referred; and if suitable, to discuss the treatment strategies and retention regimes for that particular case.
As an adjunct to the course programme, attendees can also observe clinical procedures at Dr Mahony's specialist clinic.
The course does not provide any formal qualifications, however at the conclusion of the programme, doctors will be issued with a Certificate in Orthodontics from the International Association for Orthodontics and the programme is recognized for verifiable Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The programme focuses upon quality orthodontic education for those GPs who are interested in becoming better providers of orthodontic care for their patients.
For more information, call EODO on (02) 8338-9420 or email@example.com