Why Apps and Technologies Cannot Replace a Human Orthodontist
There’s no denying that the world is becoming an increasingly convenient place. We’re all looking for cheaper and faster ways to do things, from apps that deliver restaurant-quality meals to movies on demand. But quicker doesn’t necessarily mean better, especially when it comes to health care.
In the last few years, we have seen an influx of mail-order clear aligner “do it yourself” orthodontic products enter the Australian market. They are sold direct to consumers, meaning there is no face to face clinical assessment by an orthodontist. But the repercussions can be devastating. Here are four reasons why algorithms, apps and technologies cannot replace an actual human orthodontist.
Orthodontists Are Experts in the Field
Orthodontists are specialists who dedicate their lives to learning. It’s a complex medical procedure that requires intense study and practical training. A specialist orthodontist was first a general dentist before undergoing an additional three years of full-time study to become a qualified specialist. Those three years plus many more years of cumulative learning in the field are a big deal and cannot be replicated by an app or a retail shop assistant.
The Human Touch
While apps and technologies have evolved in the past few years, they cannot emulate human emotion and empathy. When you are in a dental chair about to undergo a complex medical procedure, you want to ensure you trust the person behind the tools. While corporations see their patients as customers, orthodontists see their patients as people. This means that there is a human relationship underlying the professional one, which creates a solid foundation of trust.
You Get What You Pay For
Healthcare is the last place you should go bargain hunting. Mail order orthodontic services are sold at a fraction of the price for a reason, and many people are discovering that fast and cheap is not the solution for a healthy and attractive smile in the long term.
Orthodontic procedures performed without professional supervision can lead to disappointing results and may cause lasting damage to your teeth and gums. This means that you may later need a specialist orthodontist to provide corrective treatment at an extra cost.
Put, one-on-one, in-person orthodontic relationships create the best results. Orthodontics is a complex procedure requiring a thorough pre-treatment clinical and X-ray assessment and ongoing supervision to ensure the proposed tooth movements are safe, feasible and long-lasting. Direct to consumer orthodontics can’t replace generations of practice and years of learning.
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