“Personalised follow-up of an orthodontic treatment is essential. Like my patients, I look forward to monitoring their progress.”
Dr Caroline De Carvalho, Orthodontist at Smile and Care
Holding a postgraduate degree in Orthodontics, Doctor Caroline de Carvalho is passionate about her profession. As meticulous as she is gentle, she divides her time between the Smile and Care dental centres of Eaux-Vives and Grand-Saconnex. Interview.
What do you like most about your job?
I’ve always been dedicated to working with children. Before becoming a dentist, I wanted to be a paediatrician! Then, as part of my studies and my first professional experiences, I learned a lot about dental development in children. I then did a postgraduate degree in Orthodontics, which – today – allows me to combine working with children and orthodontics. My mission as an orthodontist is broader, too, as I enjoy encouraging them to adopt healthy dental hygiene habits over the long term.
In your opinion, what qualities are needed to do this job well?
Above all, it’s important to know how to manage the patient’s patience – as opposed to their impatience. Orthodontic treatment is often long, with results sometimes taking time. An essential quality also lies in seeking perfection and being attentive to the smallest of details. For this, precision, listening, and empathy are crucial qualities in guiding the patient towards the best treatment choice. I would also add that it’s important to know how to educate – be this for adults or children.
What type of orthodontics do you use with children?
I practice so-called “interceptive orthodontics”, which looks at preparing the mouth for the future adult teeth. In child orthodontics, interceptive treatment is the first level of correction. With the help of easy-to-use devices, the various jaw issues can be solved in advance. A child can start treatment as of 8 years of age, thereby reducing future treatments that might have to be done. The benefits are undeniable.
And with adults?
Adults are increasingly resorting to orthodontics, especially to treat the aesthetics of their teeth. An invisible orthodontic technique – Invisalign – enables the realignment of teeth without having to resort to the more visible treatments such as braces. More and more adults are coming to us for this type of treatment.
What are your professional development goals?
I get regular training on the Invisalign techniques, as the aligners offered are advancing apace with new technologies. Treatment plans in child orthodontics are also evolving; I get regular training in this area as well.
So, Invisalign avoids using braces?
Yes, today 50% of our treatments are done using the Invisalign technique, and 50% are with standard braces. Invisalign allows extremely precise control since a software enables the constant adaptation of the treatment. However, Invisalign does require patient discipline in wearing the aligners. But if they follow the instructions, the results are there. There’s also a digital app which now makes it possible to follow the treatment and communication with the patient. Follow-up is provided for both the patient and the orthodontist. That said, in-person orthodontic monitoring is extremely important, even when the process is digitized.