ORTHODONTICS IN THE USA
I just returned from our annual orthodontic meeting in “Bawston”. Each year, orthodontists from around the world gather together to learn about new procedures, to discover new technologies and to re-network with long lost colleagues. Some of the emphasis this year was on evidenced-based research, temporary anchorage devices, functional jaw orthopedics, impacted canines, self ligating appliances, and multidisciplinary care. On the bus ride from the hotel to the convention center, I struck up a conversation with an orthodontist from Saudi Arabia. He spoke so highly of the United States—everything from the outstanding educational facilities, to the leading edge technologies, to the efficient health care delivery systems. He mentioned the scarcity of orthodontists and the many obstacles in providing even the most basic orthodontic services to those in his home country. As I reflected back on our conversation, I realized that too often we take our circumstances for granted. We frequently gripe about the inefficiency, the high cost of and the lack of access to health care in America. Our health care system may not be perfect, but in regard to the orthodontic profession, I challenge you to find one that provides better professional training and quality of care.
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