BOS launches new online resource for patients

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Alison Murray (left) BOS President, Guy Deeming (centre) Chair of the Orthodontic Specialists Group and Liz Roberts (right) a member of the Practitioner Group

The BOS have launched a new online resource to empower the rising number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment www.bos.org.uk/adultorthodontics

Yesterday, the British Orthodontic Society launched a new online resource to support the decision-making of the rising number of adults opting for orthodontic treatment.

Never before have there been so many different treatment choices for patients. The new publication – The BOS Guide: Orthodontics for Adults – is a first for BOS in that it’s designed for patients to read before they see a clinician. Its launch is in the week before the start of National Smile Month on May 16th.

It is divided into four clear sections covering all aspects of orthodontic decision-making: why, how, where and who. Each section has key points or tips which guide the patient towards getting the information they need to make the right choice for them.

A video featuring Professor Tim Newton, Professor of Psychology as applied to Dentistry, with advice on the questions to ask a clinician complements the new guide. Called Orthodontics: making the right choice for you – the video and the guide will both be available on the BOS website.

The majority of BOS specialist practitioners treat adult patients. A survey carried out in 2013 showed that more than 80% of high street specialists treat both NHS and private patients while around 10% of members only treat patients privately. However, the pattern of provision in the UK is changing with more dentists offering system-based orthodontic treatment.

Alison Murray, President of the British Orthodontic Society, speaking at the press launch at BOS HQ: ‘We welcome the growth of interest in orthodontic treatment but we want to ensure that individuals are empowered to understand the choices they are making. There is extensive marketing of system-based treatments and what’s happening is that people make up their mind about what they want before they get to see a dentist or orthodontist. They go into a practice and ask for a treatment which might not necessarily be in their best interests.

She also commented: ‘There is also an issue around unmet expectations. By virtue of their design, systems designed to deliver short-term results are likely to have limited objectives. Problems can occur when patients have high expectations of the outcome of a treatment. We really want the guide to adult orthodontics to give potential patients the full picture and to highlight that orthodontic treatment can be complex. Our aim is to provide information which will help adults wanting treatment to become more discriminating consumers.’

Also at the launch were Guy Deeming, Chairman of the BOS Orthodontic Specialist Group and Liz Roberts, a member of the BOS Practitioner Group as well as the BOS Publications Committee.

Guy said: ‘We want to send the message out to patients through the social media platform that this site is here to guide them. Good communication and openness is the key to avoiding complaints. It is important that the patient understands all the risks and benefits’.

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