On a recent trip to Portugal, the Razdolsky’s discovered the beauty of the culture and the people. Just bordering Spain on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and several other cooperative and developmental agencies including the European Union.
Hailed as enjoying its highest economic growth in nearly 20 years, the country enjoys millions of international and domestic tourists to is beautiful beaches and historic landmarks, some which date as far back as 1500s! Fascinated in not only partaking of the beautiful vistas and seeing first-hand the country’s emerging growth, Anna notes as she visits the sites and interacts with locals how many of them are wearing braces.
Surprisingly, a study released July 24 by OralMed Medicina Dentaria suggests that half of the Portuguese population have never heard of Orthodontics or have an incorrect perception of what this clinical area entails. In fact, one in 10 respondents confuses “dental braces” with “removable prothesis” or a denture like brace to replace missing teeth.
“It is astonishing that half the population does not know what orthodontics is,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Even shocking is that those that do, do not have enough understanding of what it is about and the benefits it affords.”
The emergence of orthodontics as a specialty is only beginning to take hold in Portugal and at the cornerstone of its development is communicating and education through more effective visual and verbal means to the patient.
“This is such an exciting time for the people here,” said. Dr. Razdolsky. “I am like a kid in a candy store talking with people about the importance of orthodontics and the value it brings to the patient and their overall health.”
Despite this misunderstanding however, orthodontics and braces do not carry a negative stigma in the country. In fact, as part of its addition to the European Union, Portuguese citizens can often receive subsidized orthodontic care up to the age of 18 when referred by their dentist. Perhaps that’s why there are so many people now sporting braces in Portugal.