What to Do When You Find out You’re Not Seeing an Orthodontist
To understand what you should do if you’re not seeing an orthodontist for your orthodontic treatment, take a deep calming breath and read on.
First, Check Their AHPRA Registration
General dentists cannot become members of the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO), as only practitioners registered with AHPRA as specialist orthodontists can join.
While the majority of Australian orthodontists are registered with the ASO, there is a chance that your chosen orthodontic provider is an orthodontist but is not a member. To confirm, you can search the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for their name.
A specialist orthodontist will be registered as both a general dentist and a specialist dentist. If they don’t have the expert registration, then they are not an orthodontist.
My Orthodontic Provider Is Not an Orthodontist – Now What Do I Do?
Your next steps will primarily come down to how you feel about your treatment. If you’re happy with the treatment you have received, you can complete your treatment with your current practitioner.
However, suppose you are concerned that your treatment is not progressing as you expected or experiencing any worrying side effects that were not explained to you before commencing your treatment. In that case, you may want to get a second opinion from a registered specialist orthodontist.
Your orthodontist will give you an accurate and honest assessment to help you ascertain whether you should continue treatment with your current orthodontic provider.
Do You Feel That You Were Misled about Your Provider’s Credentials?
You deserve to be treated by a practitioner who is honest about their qualifications. If the person you’re seeing has falsely claimed to be a specialist orthodontist, there are options available to you.
Seek advice from an Australian Dental Association (ADA) Community Relations Officer (CRO) who will help to guide you through the process and mediate your case.
If I Transfer to a Specialist, Will I Have to Pay Extra?
Consultation fees vary from practice to practice, but a second opinion from a specialist orthodontist will commonly be charged at their usual initial consultation fee. All ASO members abide by fair and reasonable practise principles, so you will only be charged for the appropriate proportion of the treatment you receive. You will not be recharged for the portion of treatment completed by a different provider. If you have pre-paid for your treatment, you should be entitled to receive a full or partial refund from your provider, which the ADA may facilitate.
Everyone should expect honesty and transparency from their orthodontic provider. This extends to the practitioner telling their patient their actual qualifications and practising all aspects of dentistry within their accurate and precise abilities depending on their level of training.
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