The Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists (GLAO) is a constituent of the American Association of Orthodontists. Components of the GLAO include: Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Ontario (Canada), and Pennsylvania (west of the Alleghenies). The GLAO advocates on behalf of its members and promotes the advancement of the Speciality of Orthodontics.
A MESSAGE FROM THE GLAO PRESIDENT…
It was an interesting week to be an orthodontist. Did you ever have a week where you feel like the hits keep on coming? This past week was that one for me. Maybe it’s because it’s the thick of the summer, and we are at the peak of the busy season before everyone gets preoccupied with school. Maybe it’s because I just got back from a trip to Alaska, and had to shift from “fishing pace” to “hair on fire” pace as I worked to get caught up. Or maybe it was because I had a week where I had a strange combination of occurrences that raised my level of concern about the future of our profession.
On Monday, a high-school student who is aspiring to be an orthodontist shadowed me in our office. During her visit, she asked, “Do you think that orthodontics will still be a career in 20 years? My friend’s Dad said that I should pick something else because now you can get things in the mail to straighten your teeth and you don’t even need an orthodontist?”
On Tuesday, I had a lunch and learn with a company selling a product to dentists that “guides the teeth into the correct position as they erupt, typically eliminating the need for any orthodontic treatment down the road”. By the way, you can start using this “magic mouthguard” system as early as age 2. Bonus kicker… it achieves full correction of the problem in 2-12 months.
On Wednesday, I received a call from a dental school classmate and great referral source of mine asking me what I thought about Six Month Smiles, because she is thinking about getting certified for it.
On Thursday, I received a call from an orthodontist, who was dealing with problems from a former patient treated with bicuspid extractions, who was told that the previous orthodontic treatment caused her sleep apnea problems.
On Friday, my husband attended an event and found out that a dentist in a large group practice has “limited his practice to orthodontics now” because the group wants to keep all orthodontics in-house.
Whew. As I thought back over the events of the week, I thought about the common theme that connected all of these events. Now maybe it’s because my head is still not completely in the lower 48, but to me, the theme that connected them all could be summed up with one word: Fish tales. (Ok, maybe it’s technically two words, but you get the point). You see, when you’re on a fishing trip, it’s amazing to see how the fish that was 24 inches long quickly becomes two-and-a-half-feet, and then he was just a smidge shy of three feet, and on and on…
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