Dr. Nate here today. So, here we are in the middle of Summer...We sincerely hope everyone has had a great start to their Summer activities! Our whole family just got back from our yearly beach vacation, and while we were there I was finally able to catch up on the latest Orthodontic news.
My last post focused on a supposed revolutionary vibration device designed to make Orthodontic treatment go faster. If you want to re-visit that, click here. I had concluded that there was no substantial evidence this system would make teeth move faster. And now I have some semblance of vindication...
There is an Orthodontist in England named Kevin O’Brien who writes a very good blog about Orthodontics. He is a professor of Orthodontics and a talented writer who has made quite the name for himself, even in the US. In his most recent post (which is here) he mentioned that the British government, namely the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), forced the company promoting their Orthodontic vibrating device to remove their ads for a very serious reason. Instead of summarizing, I will pull the important quote.
“The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told OrthoAccel Technologies Inc. not to make claims that their AcceleDent device could move teeth faster and reduce the pain for brace wearers unless they held adequate evidence to support such claims.”
When I finished Dr. O’Brien’s post, and then read the full ASA document, I could hardly believe it! And then I became frustrated for two reasons. First, the same standards haven’t been applied here in the US. Treatments without excellent research results should not be presented to the public through advertisements! Secondly, as a supposed learned specialty within Dentistry, Orthodontists should be able to discern good quality research from poor research. That is our responsibility to the public...don’t treat patients with something that doesn’t work!
If you have made it this far, you should know that I fully understand that this rant has been more cathartic for me than entertaining for you. Selfish? Of course. But my (and Dr. Theresa’s and Dr. Nick’s) standards are very high when it comes to treatment decisions. Ask us why we do this treatment, and not that one. We will be glad to tell you, and show you the research backing it up.
New technology is great, but not always effective. That is an important distinction.
Some beach vacation...