|Action||Training and supervision of digital scan technicians|
|Comment Period||Ends 4/1/2022|
We have increasingly encountered patients who had undergone "internet DIY treatment" and are seeking out professional help to reverse course. The majority of cases that turned up in our office were not properly diagnosed. It is impossible to check a patient's periodontal status without xrays and a peridontal probe. Digital scans or photography absolutely can not detect underlying bone loss or infections. Furthermore, many individuals seeking a "quick fix" do not have routine dental checkups and do not have professional resources to verify what they read on the Internet. Consequently, they are more likely to present with more complex dental and periodontal issues. For example, a patient had so much calculus that fully covered all the spaces in between the front teeth. It was difficult to decern where each tooth started and the next ended. The x-ray showed more than 75% bone loss. It is unethical and irresponsible to start orthodontic treatment without first referring the patient to a dentist and a periodontist. Second, such products are unsupervised. We have been told that patients could not reach anyone for help (ie, call to speak to a live person for questions) when they run into problems. Orthodontic treatment modalities need to start with a diagnosis. Moving teeth is not like moving furniture around in a room; rather, it involves individual biology and physiology. Finally, especially in this era where Internet and Social Media postings run rampant. Professional medical/dental organizations need to implement regulations to protect the Virginia constituents from harm. Thank you for your understanding and consideration.