Lincoln Orthodontics

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Lincoln Orthodontics's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Lincoln Orthodontics is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Matthew Clare, lead clinician
Lincoln Orthodontics
Lincoln Orthodontics is a well-established orthodontic
practice providing treatment to patients throughout
Lincolnshire and the East Midlands. Recognising that
nearly half of the British population is unhappy with their
smile, and that having a “good smile” – justified or not –
confers social and professional benefits, they have decided
to offer the most sophisticated, patient-friendly means of
bringing about a more aesthetic smile. Their focus is on
ensuring that the client is both fully appraised and entirely
comfortable at every stage, from start to finish. The details of
this approach are explained in the following article by their
lead clinician, Matthew Clare.
Patient benefits
Everyone wants to see into the future – and now you can. Lincoln Orthodontics is a
multi-award-winning centre that uses the latest technology to allow patients to see
simulations of their smile correction, whereby 36 months of orthodontic treatment
can be played out in just 30 seconds.
At Lincoln Orthodontics, instead of concentrating on just one or several teeth, we
improve the entire smile, optimising the patient’s bite to create a comprehensive
improvement for our patients. We create individualised healthcare treatment that
not only improves smiles, but makes teeth easier to clean.
»Lead clinician: Dr Matthew
»Established in 2005
»Based in Lincoln
»Services: Multiskilled practice
using extended duties nurses,
treatment co-ordinators and
orthodontic therapists to
deliver tailored orthodontic
healthcare plans
»No. of employees: 20
»Aesthetic Dentistry Award
winner 2016
Lincoln Orthodontics
Although this optimisation takes
longer to achieve, it is a more
conservative approach compared with
removing the surface of teeth and
replacing them with artificial coverings
such as veneers, crowns and bridges.
However, one of the challenges is that
a person’s new smile initially exists only
in the mind of the orthodontist who is
considering treatment for them.
Being able to actually visualise the
final treatment that is hiding in your
orthodontist’s imagination is greatly
appreciated by our patients. Better still,
patients can also discuss this image
with the orthodontist, allowing them
to tweak and change the result to suit
individual ideas of what constitutes
perfection. Using this approach, we
interact with our patients in a virtual
world where treatment options can
be played out in a reversible, non-
Our mouth scanners borrow software
from flight simulators, allowing us to
produce an extremely accurate digital
3D model of our patients’ teeth and
smile in just under two minutes. Using
digital simulation software, patients
can see the progression of a two-year
treatment plan take place in just over
30 seconds. Once the benefit can
be properly visualised, the decision
can be more accurately weighed as
to whether to go ahead. Acceptance
is over 90 per cent. This is the best
possible type of informed consent;
asimulation cannot be misunderstood
and is innately understandable to both
children and adults alike.
The benefits are not just for the
patient though. Using digital models
and simulators, clinicians can share
their expertise with contemporaries
across the globe. Thanks to digital
technology, like-minded orthodontists
are now interconnected across a
multinational web of professional
networks channelling information,
with experience now able to flow to
areas of need.
The future
Within the NHS there is a desperate
need for more hospital-based
orthodontic consultants. Digital
professional networks could be very
helpful in increasing patient access
to high-quality care in rural and
community-based facilities. The old-
fashioned hub-and-spoke arrangement
could now be replaced by a more
organic network that makes the
geographical distance between the
“hub” and the end of the “spoke”
irrelevant. If properly applied and
funded, this would seem the most
natural evolution for telemedicine
within the NHS in the field of
Can artificial intelligence be
applied to orthodontics?
Companies now exist, such as the
Dental Monitoring company, that use
the ubiquitous smartphone camera to
assess and compare the movements of
a patient’s teeth against the predicted
movements of the orthodontist’s
treatment plan. The advantage of
this is that patients can be alerted
to the fact that their orthodontic
treatment might need intervention
before anything serious occurs.
There is an
element to
Digital scanning and
Highlighting best practice
Onthe other side of the coin, patients
might only need to attend in person
when it is necessary to come in, as
their progress is being monitored
in a digital manner. Beneficiaries of
this include those patients from rural
communities who are forced to travel
a long way to their orthodontist or
patients who struggle to get time off
from work. Children would have to
take less time off from school and it
could also save millions of pounds
in NHS appointments that are often
However, this advance in technology
needs to be appraised with a critical
eye. Some companies are attempting
to sell treatment to patients along with
an automated treatment plan that is
designed by computer, skipping out
a clinician entirely. Tooth movements
are prescribed without the patient
ever having undergone a clinical
The obvious benefit for companies
is that they can market directly to
the patient. I believe, however, what
is misunderstood is that there is
more to the creation of healthcare
treatment plans than just lining up
teeth in a straight line. Many biometric
parameters are unable to be captured
in a digital scan of teeth, such as the
health of the teeth, the angles between
the jaw bones and the health and
thickness of the gum. There is also a
human artistic element in orthodontic
treatment whereby the smile needs to
fit harmoniously within the patient’s
face. Although the scanner’s lens is
more accurate than a human eye, there
are many other factors that need to be
taken into account beyond the physical
size and position of the teeth.
In short, can programs be produced to
predict the movement of teeth and to
improve a smile? Yes, definitely. Are
the automated programs designed
with a patient-centred approach? No,
absolutely not. They are designed,
above all, to increase the share price
and dividends of a company. In my
view, if we haven’t automated the
relatively simple service of hairdressers
and barbers, we should not have any
confidence in replacing experienced
clinicians with computer programs
designed to deliver irreversible
healthcare and decide where in your
jaw bone one’s teeth should sit.
The way I see orthodontics evolving
is more like the evolution of how a
pilot interacts with a plane. In the old
days, pilots would control their plane
with wires and levers and navigation
would be done on a 2D map. Now,
airline pilots fly totally electronically,
but still with the human pilot being at
the centre of the technology, applying
the appropriate care and delivering
safe travel for all. In today’s modern
clinic, the clinician should still be
central to the process, utilising modern
technology but delivering healthcare
developed by humans, for humans.
Clinicians can
share their
expertise with
across the
Orthodontic correction
(before and after)

This article was sponsored by Lincoln Orthodontics. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister