The Dental Council has issued a statement on orthodontic appliances provided directly to members of the public as it has recently become aware that a number of manufacturers are providing orthodontic appliances directly to the public outside of the dental surgery setting.
The Dental Council advises patients that their orthodontic treatment is best undertaken under the supervision of a dentist or a specialist orthodontist for the duration of their care. It states that purchasing an appliance without an appropriate examination or ongoing dental support couldcompromise the treatment, and possibly a patient's dental health.
The Dental Council states that all registered dentists contracted to work for such manufacturers that you still owe the same duty of care to patients opting to have an appliance manufactured as you would to a patient attending your practice, and that you are still obliged to comply with the Dental Council’s Code of Practice regarding Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct. Dentists must ensure:
- The patient has given full informed consent to the treatment, and is aware of the benefits and risks associated with the treatment plan;
- You maintain full and proper records, and that they are properly protected and are available to you at all times; and
- Your indemnity insurance covers you to provide remote dentistry.
The full statement can be downloaded here.