Revista Dental Press de Ortodontia e Ortopedia Facial
Print version ISSN 1415-5419
MARUO, Ivan Toshio et al. Study of the legality of orthodontic practice by General Practice Dentists. Rev. Dent. Press Ortodon. Ortop. Facial [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.6, pp. 42e1-42e10. ISSN 1415-5419. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-54192009000600005.
OBJECTIVE: In view of the conflict in the Brazilian legal system between the principle of legality and the principle of human dignity with regard to the practice of orthodontics by General Practice Dentists, this study aimed to analyze the legislation and judgments passed by courts regarding this issue. METHODS: The authors conducted a survey of the legislation in the Federal Official Gazette and the competent authorities concerning the teaching and practice of orthodontics. As regards judgments passed, searches were performed in the Courts of Justice and the defunct Courts of Appeals in all Member States of the Federative Republic of Brazil, as well as the Superior Court of Justice and the Federal Supreme Court, using the keywords " Orthodontics" , " orthodontic" and " orthodontist" . RESULTS: Brazilian legislation classifies postgraduate courses as strict sense (stricto sensu) or broad sense (lato sensu) courses, each with its own rules of operation. National Curriculum Guidelines provide that only Preventive Orthodontics be taught at the undergraduate level. It is the understanding of Brazilian courts that a postgraduate certificate is a prerequisite for the practice of Corrective Orthodontics. CONCLUSION: An undergraduate course in Dentistry is sufficient for the teaching of Preventive Orthodontics; only postgraduate programs in the strict and broad senses are competent to teach Corrective Orthodontics; any construal that legislation allows General Practice Dentists to practice Corrective Orthodontics is inconceivable; General Practice Dentists are only allowed to perform procedures comprised in the Preventive and Interceptive Orthodontics categories.
Keywords : Orthodontics; Postgraduation; Dentist; General practice dentist; Legality; Human dignity.