The arch forms they are a-changin’. But is this stable?

Today I want to bring to the table a rather worn and torn story about expansion and stability. We certainly have heard many times from our mentors that we should keep initial arch form without much alterations, but on the other hand, the market constantly urges us to try extra-wide arches, enjoy novel expanders, both tooth- and bone-borne, and by all means avoid extractions in most of the cases.

Many can’t resist the temptation. What should they expect in the long run? I decided to look at some evidence at hand.

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Prof Kwangchul Choy on orthodontic jargon, inadvertent leveling and the 2nd edition of his extremely popular biomechanics book

Over the past two months, I have been reading a unique and profound book on orthodontic biomechanics which I absolutely enjoyed. It has expanded my understanding of complex mechanics and cleared up some grey areas in my knowledge. Previously, I already published two reviews on the book and today I would like to present my readers a short interview with one of the authors, Dr Kwangchul Choy. He is currently a clinical professor at Yonsei University as well as an adjunct professor at Ewha University. He runs a private practice in Seoul, South Korea and lectures on biomechanics around the world.

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Orthodontic biomechanics from A to Z: Part II

What makes the world go round? There are two well-worn answers to this: money and love. However, then it comes to moving teeth there is no ambiguity at all: teeth are moved by a single agent – force.

Techniques, names, appliances are just an entourage around this pivotal orthodontic agent. As a result, an orthodontist should be always seeking a thorough understanding of the force he or she applies.

Dr. Charles Burstone is remembered to be the physicist and engineer of orthodontics. He looked at biomechanics from the perspective of a scientist who seeks to deconstruct orthodontic methods to the atomic and digestible pieces of knowledge, rather than put together another cook-book approach.

It is interesting that in his last major work, the book titled The Biomechanical Foundation of Clinical Orthodontics, this unbiased cool-blooded perspective is mixed with a genuine and intense love for the craft of orthodontics. However, this comprehensive book on biomechanics also requires the mutual love from the reader. 

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Orthodontic biomechanics from A to Z: Part I

I am currently in the middle of a fabulous biomechanics textbook. I have been looking to read it for quite a while and so far all my expectations met.

The Biomechanical Foundation of Clinical Orthodontics is a consummate guide to clinically relevant orthodontic mechanics put together by ten contributors. The major part of the chapters is written by two well-known gurus in the area: Charles Burstone and Kwangchul Choy.

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TMD for the orthodontist: A sensible guide

The TMD-occlusion debate is religious. We have believers. We have deniers. And we have a great number of confessions. However, the book I have chosen for today aims to look at the problem from an impartial, evidence-based stand point. Therefore, its purpose is not to tell you how to get to heaven, but rather how not to end up in hell. 

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When should we take CBCT of the orthodontic patient?

Earlier this week I published a tongue-in-check piece which has suddenly become one of my most popular texts on this blog. Today I want to switch back to more serious tone and try to answer a simple question:

“When should we take CBCT of the orthodontic patient?”

How many times online or during the conference we have seen a practitioner advocating for the routine use of CBCT? To justify this the orthodontist would often show the images of scanned airways or primary dentition before and after. “3D images helped me to diagnose airway constriction and crowding, I can’t even imagine how I would now practice without this marvellous technology!” – such specialist would say. This, of course, are strong statements, and looking closer you will likely find an affiliation of the practitioner with the manufacturer of diagnostic equipment.

Let’s now throw away all the possible speculations and draw our attention to the current research data.

A fragment of the artwork for my orthodontic seminar by a US-based designer, Oleg Kremeshnoy
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How to win orthodontic patients and cash in on ignorance?

In a competitive field of orthodontics it is imperative to develop a proper marketing strategy to succeed financially. After all, we are all in this to make some cash, not to waste our precious time on tracing cephs, bending wires and understanding all those boring research papers, right?

Being the number-one marketing guru in orthodontics, I’d like to give 10 powerful tips and tricks to my devoted followers. Please read them at least three times, then highlight the ones you find the most important and next implement this new knowledge into your practice. If done correctly and with enthusiasm, these great life-changing hints will bring you not just thousands, but millions of dollars. 

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Apparently the best clinical guide for a beginner orthodontist

I want to start this year with a review of a wonderful textbook which is a great help for many orthodontists, especially those freshly out of school. 

The 20 principles of the Alexander Discipline is the first part of a trilogy by a famous American orthodontist, Richard Wick Alexander. It was published by Quintessence in 2008.

I bought my copy on the 3rd year after graduation. This is a landmark period in a young specialist’s life: you have just finished several dozens of your first cases and, hence, have a possibility to look back at the results, documentation and biomechanics used. And if you are quite honest with yourself, you are not too excited about how this all looks. “I need more structure in what I do”, – said I to myself then. And luckily, the book was right there at my disposal.

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A very short blog post on apathy

According to Wikipedia, apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something. Last year, most people around the globe experienced this in one form or another because of the COVID crisis. I was one of the affected. I had spent about 2 months without seeing the patients and this distraction from the regular routine coupled with inability to travel was psychologically challenging. 

Here are three measures I find feasible to fight the miserable state of apathy. At least, these work for me.

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An antidote to orthodontic fantasies

Orthodontic fantasies – just as many other gimmicks of modern-day snake oil salesmen – are continuing to spread. We constantly see people online promising to grow children’s mandibles, avoid extractions at all costs with magical appliances or even treat malocclusions with extravagant tongue exercises. 

Of course, in countries with developed orthodontic infrastructures such nonsense is objected by powerful orthodontic organisations (national societies, orthodontic boards), academia or even advertising authorities. However, developing countries, such as Russia, are left alone to suffer from the insatiable appetite of dental charlatans. And it seems that no-one is in charge of this chaos.

About two years ago, I started doing video reviews of orthodontic textbooks. These silent paperback agents are one of few sources that could resist the utter ignorance of market at the outskirts of orthodontic civilisation. The first video I recorded was dedicated to a wonderful book titled Evidence-Based Orthodontics. Today I want to have a fresh look on the text. I think it is still my favourite orthodontic book.

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