The second edition of the Sri Lankan Journal of Orthodontics is a significant step for the Sri Lanka Orthodontic Society with a real desire for the orthodontic community to showcase research and case reports that would be of interest to the small but enthusiastic group.
The journal becomes one of the key elements that defines a professional group. The Sri Lanka Orthodontic Society plays a significant role in promoting excellent standards of healthcare to the community by engaging the teaching institutions, supporting continuing professional development activities, active involvement in community education related to the provision of orthodontic services and assisting regulatory bodies in the country such as the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine and the Sri Lankan Medical Council in maintaining standards of education and patient care. Moreover, the Society should ensure that a significant public education program stresses the importance of patients seeking care from a recognised specialist orthodontist to ensure that they receive the very best care possible.
In the digital age, patients are becoming more aware of the advances in healthcare and proprietary groups are starting to develop and deliver “direct to patient care” therapies. Although digital technology is really making significant inroads to assist individuals in remote communities who may not have access to specific general and specialist care, this technology is of major significance and benefit to clinicians and patients. The thought that a clinician/patient may in specific circumstances be guided by another clinician in a remote location was unfathomable in previous years but now may be of added value in certain circumstances.
The challenge to our society is to set up safety net mechanisms that ensure that thorough clinically sound processes are adhered to. These “direct to patient” therapies are being promoted that do not directly or indirectly involve clinical examinations, including radiographic and periodontal evaluation. Moreover, the direct interaction with an experienced clinician would enable the patient to consider all options with their associated informed consent issues and establish and guide the patient to realize what they see as a successful outcome specific to that individual. It appears that there might be conflicting agendas with proprietary groups, driven by a business model and clinicians primarily interested in a professional model that is patient centred.
Therein lies the challenge to the modern clinician and it is up to the profession to ensure that regulatory bodies do not drop the ball when it comes to the best interests of the recipients of our care- Our patients. Regulatory bodies must be vigilant in assessing the ethical and moral processes that are being promoted.