The Nigeria Association of Orthodontists, NAO, has flayed the dearth of orthodontists in Nigeria, disclosing that less than 70 orthodontists are serving over 192 million Nigerians. Orthodontists are dental specialists trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial problems.
They provide a wide range of treatment options to correct faulty dentition and align the jaws.
This was made known at a press conference in Lagos, to mark the 2019 World Orthodontist Day, with the theme: Orthodontist, Creating Healthy Smiles for All Ages.
Speaking, a Consultant Orthodontist with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof Ifeoma Utomi, who noted that the training of Orthodontists requires a lot of funding, said investment in the training would check the dearth of professionals in the specialty.
Utomi said: “Part of the problem is that the training is very expensive, so you find out that government has limited resources and because of that, the teaching hospitals where the training is done have limited funding which eventually makes them admit few people for the training each year. There is the need for the government to invest more in that area to encourage the training of Orthodontists.”
Utomi, said the association was doing a lot of advocacy to increase the number of doctors in this specialty so that Nigerians could be safe from quacks that don’t have the training to engage in orthodontic treatment.
On her part, a Professor of Orthodontics, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Tosin Sanu, explained that Orthodontist is a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of malocclusion.