What’s in a name? In 2011, a British doctor, Kate Grainger was diagnosed with cancer and through her experience as a patient, founded the movement #hellomynameis. Kate recognised the importance of knowing who was caring for her and what their role was in her care. Sadly Kate passed away in 2016, but #hellomynameis has grown in her memory and been mainstreamed across many healthcare settings.
Orthodontic treatment requires a number of visits over a period of time, so there is lots of opportunity to know the name and qualifications of who is caring for you! However, with so many different advertisements offering different options or remote care, it can be less obvious to work out who your orthodontist is, and this may be problematic if treatment doesn’t meet your expectations.
Before you start any orthodontic treatment, find out the name and qualifications of the person responsible for your orthodontic care.
EU Medical Devices Legislation requires that the person prescribing treatment and designing appliances is professionally qualified to do so (such as a dentist or orthodontist) and must provide their name. It is also a requirement that they can provide the name and address of the manufacturer of your appliance.
Orthodontic aligners, appliances and retainers are all included in the legislation as they are custom-made, they are prescribed and manufactured for an individual patient to their specific needs and cannot be used by anyone else.
The General Dental Council in the UK offer further advice to patients considering orthodontic treatment:
- Knowing the name of the person who is treating you is very important as the dentist who prescribes your aligners or braces is responsible for all your treatment.
- To give valid, informed consent you need to have been given all the information about what the treatment involves.
- Without seeing you in person, the dentist might not have all the information they need about your oral health.
Download/view the EU Medical Device regulations for more information:
Custom-Made Dental Device Manufacturers on Compliance with European Communities (Medical Devices) Regulations
Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) regulates medical devices in Ireland and provides guidance on the prescription and manufacture of custom dental appliances.