What to do when you find out the dentist you’re having orthodontic treatment with is not an orthodontist
Did you have trouble finding your orthodontic provider using our Orthodontist Check tool? If you thought that you were seeing a specialist orthodontist but could not find your practitioner using the Orthodontist Check tool then you might feel some concern. To understand what you should do if you’re not seeing an orthodontist for your orthodontic treatment, simply take a deep calming breath and read on.
First, check their AHPRA registration
Our Orthodontist Check tool searches the current database of the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) to find registered member orthodontists. General dentists cannot become members of the ASO, as only qualified orthodontists who are registered with AHPRA 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 specialist registration, then they are not an orthodontist.
My dentist is not an orthodontist – now what do I do?
Your next steps will largely 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 dental practitioner.
However, if you are concerned that your treatment is not progressing as you expected, or if you are experiencing any worrying side effects that were not explained to you before commencing your treatment, 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 dentist provider. If the results are not possible for your case, or damage has been done to your teeth or gums, they may recommend that you cease treatment with your current provider. In extreme cases you may be also referred to an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon to assess the need for surgical intervention.
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. They can will help you register a complaint and navigate your refund options if applicable.
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 practice 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 will receive a full or partial refund from your provider, which may be facilitated by the ADA.
Everyone should expect honesty and transparency from their orthodontic provider. This extends to the practitioner telling their patient their actual qualifications and practicing all aspects of dentistry within their true and actual abilities depending on their level of training.
If you’re wanting a second opinion from an orthodontist you can search for a registered specialist orthodontist using our Finder Tool.