More are more people are being told they are going to have to wait up to two years for a brace because of a shortage of orthodontists. The professional organisation of orthodontists claims the waiting lists are so long because the new number of orthodontists entering the profession is being limited.
A government planning commission determines how many dentists and orthodontists can graduate each year. For Dutch-speaking Belgium the number of orthodontists is set at eleven.
Bart Vande Vannet, spokesman for the orthodontists, identifies the number of dentists and orthodontists entering the profession as the problem: “There will be around 100 this year. A similar number leave the profession. In some towns four to five dentists leave the profession. The planning commission should look into this.”
Bart Vande Vannet doesn’t believe the long waiting lists are a danger: “It’s rare that the need for orthodontic treatment is acute. If a dentist believes this is the case, the patient will be prioritised. Dentists and orthodontists can use the eHealth platform to exchange information and advice.”