Smile Direct Club – the New Kid on the Block

The launch of this new supplier of “invisible” braces is yet another reminder of how technical advances are rapidly changing the world around us. This international tele-dentistry company was founded in the US five years ago and has rapidly become the largest provider of orthodontic treatment in the US.  Last year, revenue nearly tripled to $423m from about $146m in 2017. According to their website Smile Shops have already opened in twelve locations in the England & Scotland and will be launching in Canada and Australia next year.  So, how does it differ from mainstream orthodontics and what does this mean for the future of orthodontics as we know it?

Smile Direct Club uses 3D scanning and computer technology to create a programme of treatment using clear braces that are posted to the customer.  Only one appointment is required and the treatment is 60% cheaper than the market average.  In the US some orthodontists are so fearful of the threat that Smile Direct Club pose that they have sought unsuccessfully to have tele-dentistry banned.  It is easy to be scathing of treatment that involves less contact with a qualified clinician, but Smile Direct Club appear to have the winning combination of competitive pricing, good results and reliable standards of customer service.

Until now, orthodontics in the UK has been dominated by small clinical practices owned and run by qualified orthodontists who treat a mix of private and NHS patients.  Small clinics already face onerous costs to ensure they meet statutory legislation on employment, care quality and so forth.  Can they survive the downward pressure on prices presented by this direct-to-consumer business model?

Strange as it may seem, this threat may actually be what will spur the speciality, at last, to change tack! Orthodontics at its best is so much more than mere tooth straightening. Early diagnosis and intervention can reduce and even prevent the presentation of crooked teeth.  By treating the face and not just the teeth, orthodontists can offer something that mail order clear braces never can.

The orthodontic profession has the knowledge and practical skills to impact on the health and wellbeing of young children and their future lives.  There are progressive orthodontists like William Clark and John Mew who spent decades pushing the boundaries to develop appliances like the twin block and the biobloc, that have been shown to encourage jaw growth to make room for the adult teeth.  Yet, despite international recognition, they have never been properly recognised for their achievements at home.  Neither one of these men has been invited to speak at a British Orthodontic Society conference.  It is time for the arguments between different factions of the orthodontic profession to end and for collaboration to begin.  If the orthodontic profession wants to survive, it needs to properly understand the causes of malocclusion, its relationship with other conditions like sleep apnoea and TMD and the best ways to prevent and treat it.

In the long run, Smile Direct Club’s quantum leap approach could bring about the changes which so many of the non-establishment practitioners have been calling for decades! Good news for us and better health for patients.

 

September 30, 2019 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

Interceptive Orthodontics

Dr Howard Farran interviews Dr Derek Mahony on Interceptive Orthodontics. This video also includes descriptions of technical advancement which have made adult treatment more acceptable. Topics discussed are more aesthetic options and shorter treatment times.

new techniques now available for adult treatment.

 

August 19, 2019 at 11:46 am Leave a comment

The Benefits of Early Treatment

* The MARA appliance is one of several that are used for early correction.

Dr Derek Mahony’s YouTube channel.

 

 

* Below is a section taken from the journal of the American Association of Orthodontics and Dento-Facial Orthopedics, July 2016 by the editor-in-Chief, Dr Rolf G Behrents.

One phase of two – For example, there is now clear and compelling evidence that early treatment for the first of two phases should be performed when a patient has protruding maxillary incisors. Such treatment is justified because reducing the protrusion protects the incisors from trauma and also improves esteem and social adjustment. This is simple to explain to patients and parents and is justified by the available evidence.”

 

* The Dispatches programme on Extraction versus Non – Extraction treatment.

https://www.fullfaceorthodontics.com.au/media    cut & paste

August 12, 2019 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

Airway Dentistry – an interesting interview

Dr Ted Belfor is a dentist prectising in New York. He recently gave this interview which gives an excellent account of how various elements in the body are interdependent and the importance of the airway.

Future Tech Podcast – 19 April 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqJi7HGufj4

June 14, 2019 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

Mouth Breathing in Children – new video

New video by Dr German Ramirez-Yanez.

This explains the negative impact on facial growth and well being that results from mouth breathing.

Crowding of the teeth occurs because of the reduced space of the oral cavity.

May 11, 2019 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

ITV ” This Morning” 6 May Interview with Dr Mike Mew.

The title was “Give yourself a DIY facelift………with your tongue.

Dr Mike Mew explains the technique of “Mewing” which can improve the jaw line. Although this can be achieved at any age with enough effort, more dramatic changes take place in the young children while facial growth is still taking place.

https://www.itv.com/thismorning/style-beauty/give-yourself-a-diy-facelift-with-your-tongue

May 10, 2019 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

Mewing – the new exercise for the best facial form & function

“Mewing” has taken the social media by storm. The exercises were devised by Professor John Mew and his son, Dr Michel Mew.

There are a number of videos on YouTube and the most recent gives a good explanation and is amusing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gxuzPcnwaY

Obviously these exercises have greater impact on the growing face which further backs our campaign “Prevent Crooked Teeth” . The petition sets out to increase awareness of the advantages of early diagnosis and, if required, appropriate treatment.

http://www.preventcrookedteeth.com To date there are over 12,000 signatures. This petition is global so anyone can sign. Let’s get to 15,000 and bring about changes which will be of benefit to the children of today and those that follow. Orthodontics has changed very little in the past 50 years and it is time to move on.

March 20, 2019 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

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