What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist? Part 2

This follows on from a previous article explaining the simple difference between dentists and orthodontists in terms of other subjects like doctors and surgeons and police officers and detectives. This article outlines the types of work that dentists and orthodontists do.

Years ago, hundreds of years ago, dentistry was a fairly unsophisticated subject. It required good physical skill, but the range of treatments available was fairly small – if your tooth was badly hurting, you saw someone to take it out. There weren’t any anaesthetics, so if you were lucky, the dentist took out the tooth quickly, and it didn’t break on the way out, and it didn’t hurt too much, and if you were very lucky he took out the correct tooth first time.

There wasn’t the option of modern fillings or root treatments, or gum treatments. There weren’t even antibiotic medicines to stop infections and abscesses. In fact, dental infections were a significant cause of death in the middle ages. Back then, a lot of dentistry, like a lot of surgery, was carried out by barbers, who had a good collection of blades and steel instruments.

Eventually dentistry moved on. More treatments were developed and some teeth could be saved. Advances in anaesthetics meant that more work could be done on teeth without upsetting the patients. After a while examinations were brought in to make sure that the people carrying out dentistry were fit to do so and this helped protect the public from poor dentists.

Over the years dentistry became even more advanced. Nowadays, a dentist would leave dental school and expect to know about:

  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Tooth whitening
  • Implants
  • Root treatments
  • Gum diseases
  • Jaw muscle problems
  • Problems involving the lining of the mouth, including the tongue, and including monitoring for mouth cancer
  • Dentures
  • Dental Surgery
  • Children’s dentistry
  • Orthodontics
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Medical problems related to dentistry
  • Dental problems related to medicine
  • Medications needed to treat dental problems

That’s a lot to stay on top of, and it also is a lot of instruments to keep in order to provide all of these treatments, so many dentists tend to concentrate on the areas that interest them most. The area I know best is orthodontics, and here are some of the areas of orthodontics that orthodontists need to think about when planning, organising, and carrying out treatment for a patient:

  • Invisible braces (like INVISALIGN))
  • Tooth coloured braces (like DAMON CLEAR)
  • Metal Fixed Braces (train tracks like DAMON Q or MX)
  • Lingual Braces (Braces on the inside of the teeth)
  • Removable braces
  • Retainer braces
  • Twin block braces
  • Headgear braces
  • Developing teeth
  • Extra teeth (supernumerary teeth)
  • Missing teeth
  • Teeth with abnormal roots
  • Teeth in an abnormal position
  • Abnormal jaw bone
  • Abnormal tooth shape
  • Abnormal jaw sizes
  • Abnormal gums
  • How the growth of the face and jaws will affect the treatment
  • How to tell if a patient’s face is still growing
  • If the patient needs surgery for the teeth
  • If the patient needs surgery for the jaws
  • If the patient

Health Insurance Solutions Part II

Time and time again there is a solution to every problem, challenge, obstacle or anything else that may cause us to fret. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. The Affordable Care Act never stated insurer had to do away with the underwriting process. Several elements to sell plans were implemented to conform and to be compliant with the law which included: essential health benefits which are all necessary; with the exception of pediatric dental and vision coverage, especially for someone who does not have minor children in their custody.

The other element is the fact that carriers could no longer deny coverage to consumers who has more than enough health related conditions with exorbitant premiums, terms in the insurance world “rated” because of preexisting conditions.

This is the major problem facing the health sector and why insurers are unable to measure their risk with finding reasonable rates for the American people. This is a shot in the dark for insurance companies to play a guessing game of not knowing who has chronic health problems on a regular basis and what the cost would be to accurately provide care at reasonable prices. Actuaries’ calculate insurance with a purpose; to estimate risk. No measuring stick, no wonder why carriers have lost money over the last several years and are ready to bail out.

The government involvement in the insurance industry is to govern, not necessarily to run the insurance business. It is sad that large carriers are allowing the government to dictate and rule out the main premise of insurance. This business is built on risk factors. There is no difference if you wanted to purchase homeowners, auto; or any other type of insurance, there are risks with insuring property. Our physical bodies are a higher risk since we are moving objects on the go all the time, we wear out and break down time to time and have to be repaired and healed.

Why aren’t insurers addressing this fact with lawmakers? What are the chances of a mechanical breakdown with stationary buildings? Physical buildings breakdown due to neglect and lack of maintenance, or if someone physically damaged the property for whatever reason. When was the last time you purchased property and casualty insurance and your risk wasn’t taken into consideration for how much you will be charged in premium dollars? Well, it is no different with health insurance.

There is a solution and a plan that will work. It is not about taxes, neither is it about how many people will lose coverage, cutting back on Medicaid, squeezing the poor, the rich getting richer or the other non sense we hear from politicians. Insurers need to be bold and follow the guidelines of the current law, go back to the underwriting process, deny no one coverage and have affordable premiums based on risk the way it was in time past; prior-Affordable Care Act.

As consumers, it is our responsibility to take care of these earthly bodies and to protect our finances while we are …