Like many industries, orthodontics (and orthodontists) use a wide variety of products, often with different brand names. Patients will sometimes ask if specific brands of orthodontic products (braces, appliances, clear aligners etc.) makes a big difference to the quality and long-term effectiveness of orthodontic treatment.
The short answer is – the brand makes little difference. It is ultimately the training and skill of the doctor that really makes the biggest difference.
Certified Orthodontists and general dentists can obtain their products from the same manufacturers. That can often lead a patient into believing that a particular product will make their orthodontic treatment successful, no matter whether their dental care provider is a Certified Orthodontist or General Dentist. That is simply not true.
Simple analogies can help drive this point home. For instance, using Erik Karlsson’s particular brand of hockey equipment will not make someone a world-class hockey player. Erik’s high level of skill and years of intense high-level training is what makes him an amazing player, not simply the brand of equipment he uses. In other words, it’s not really the tool, it’s the talent of the person using it. It’s the same for other professions like skilled engine mechanics and equipment technicians who use tools that can be often found at a hardware store. In the end, it’s the skill of the person using the tools is the most important thing.
Certified Orthodontists and general dentists do use similar and often identical products and brands. These are marketed to both groups alike, often with unrealistic expectations that the brand itself will make a big difference to the success of the treatment.
Sophisticated and aggressive marketing can be especially misleading to a general dentist. Certified Orthodontists have the training and experience to know what works well and more importantly, what doesn’t. What works and what doesn’t can vary greatly from patient to patient and from age to age.
Certified Orthodontists are adept at selecting and using the orthodontic products and brands that will produce the best results for every patient as an individual, rather than using a – one product is good for all approach.
As individual Orthodontists, we almost all have our preferences for certain brands. And every brand has its advantages and disadvantages as well as its pros and cons. We select and refine what works best in our own skilled hands. When someone asks about a technique or brand they’ve heard about, Certified Orthodontists have the training, knowledge, and experience to fully explain the pros and cons.
Reducing confusion and helping to educate patients and families is something that all the members of the Ottawa-Gatineau Orthodontists Alliance are committed to doing. If you have a question, talk to one of our members. You can find a Certified Orthodontist near you, by searching our directory.More like this