Interview: The future work of an orthodontist lies behind the computer

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Interview: The future work of an orthodontist lies behind the computer

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Dr Lionel Hui Bon Hoa with one of his four ORTHORA 200 treatment units. (Photograph: Tom Carvalho, DTI)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Thu. 5. April 2018

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Located in Divonne-les-Bains, a beautiful French town on the Swiss border near Geneva, the orthodontic practice of Dr Lionel Hui Bon Hoa boasts the latest digital technologies and an inspiring practice interior. As a young orthodontist and international speaker, Hui Bon Hoa has embraced clear aligners, digital treatment planning and high-tech orthodontic units in order to offer his patients the newest treatment options. In an interview with Dental Tribune Online, he speaks about his passion for orthodontics, the future of the profession and his preferred practice design.

Could you describe the first consultation at your practice?
Upon arrival, a member of the team will accompany the patient to the consultation room, where he or she will be able to complete a medical questionnaire if this has not yet been done online. I then allocate sufficient time to listen to the reasons for the patient’s visit and his or her wishes. Thanks to the latest digital technologies, I can say that our practice focuses strongly on diagnosis. After a complete examination, I will explain the different treatments, as well as advantages and disadvantages of each. I am very open and honest with the patient; if there is no need for treatment, I will tell the patient this clearly. In some cases, it may still be too early to begin orthodontic treatment. I will then suggest that the patient returns to the practice periodically so that I can monitor jaw growth and dental development. Once it is time to start treatment, I want to be sure to only use the most modern technologies available.

After dental school, you quickly opted to specialise in orthodontics.
I like orthodontics because one has to think about the patient case in the medium to long term. Diagnosis and treatment planning take time or at least should take a great deal of time in orthodontics. Once one has decided on the treatment planning, one can proceed with it easily. Orthodontic treatment seems to proceed like on autopilot as long as it has been planned correctly. That is one of the many reasons I chose to specialise in orthodontics. However, I do miss aesthetic restorations because I always liked to bond and, like orthodontics, there is an aesthetic approach. By the way, the two disciplines are complementary.

Also, though I treat many adults, I also feel very confident treating and interacting with children and teenagers. Communication with kids is very easy for me because I must admit that I prefer to speak with my patients about Star Wars than more serious subjects. I am also a father of two children, so that helps.

Where is orthodontics moving in your opinion?
With new technologies such as cone beam computed tomography, intra-oral scanning and 3-D imaging, I think that the future work of an orthodontist lies behind the computer. We certainly will move teeth in the bone the old-fashioned way, either with conventional orthodontic appliances or with clear aligners. The basics of orthodontics will remain the same. However, it is very important to have a clear diagnosis at the beginning and digital technologies definitely help.

Why did you decide on three practice rooms, but four treatment units?
I have four ORTHORA units, by MIKRONA, in my dental practice, one each in two separate rooms and two units in the same room. Adults like to be separate, while I usually treat children in my big room. I just bought the units a year ago and I continue to be very happy with them.

Why did you choose ORTHORA over other dental units?
In my practice, I really wanted to have an aesthetic solution. When patients see the ORTHORA and its attractive design, it is clear that one has not bought the cheapest units, but units of excellent quality. I also like the shape and thinness. The main reason, however, was the compactness of the unit. I do not have very large rooms, but I wanted units that would fit the spaces well. After one year, they still look new. The overall shape and quality of the ORTHORA continue to impress me.

ORTHORA offers quite a large range of colours. How did you choose the colours of your units?
I did not want to have flashy colours, but more neutral ones that would complement the marble floor. I like medical equipment to be clearly that. I prefer to have colours on the wall or incorporated in the furniture to brighten up the space.

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