15 May 2024

Orthodontists warning over dentists fitting braces

From Nine To Noon, 9:20 am on 15 May 2024

The Association of Orthodontists says a recent Health and Disability Commission report highlights what can go wrong when general dentists undertake orthodontal treatment.

The HDC has found a dentist breached the rights of a 12 year old patient, when they fitted braces, then aligners - and three years after the treatment was completed, the patient required jaw surgery and more braces.

The Commission received 132 complaints about dental services in the 2022/23 year, 21 of which related to young patients.

In the recently released ruling, the HDC says the dentist failed to refer the teen to a specialist at the outset, and undertook treatment he was not trained, or sufficiently experienced, to provide.

Kathyrn speaks with Dr David Wescott, vice president of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists.