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.
The thing you can say for certain just starting the book, is that it has been written with a genuine desire to help. Explanations are neat, digestible and with lots of clear schemes and illustrations.
The author decided to divide his whole professional experience into 20 parts – or as he calls them – principles. There are such of them as “Use non-extraction treatment when possible”, “Use extraction treatment when necessary”, “Follow a logical arch wire sequence” and so on.
I like the fact that the text is 100% practical. As the author states, his main goal was to “eliminate unnecessary complexity”. I think he reached the goal just great. You can literally take some author’s pieces of advice and put them into your practice straight away.
There is a good number of well-documented cases. Usually a case is an illustration to one of the 20 principles. All the cases have a wire sequence and cephalometric measurements. Some cases have long-term records – up to 30 years in retention.
The book covers almost all the aspects of clinical orthodontic workflow – from diagnosis to retention and practice management.
I have to notice, that all the cases shown by the author are treated with the brackets of his own design. I have never used them in my life. However, I see no problem in that. You can follow the author’s guidance using MBT, Roth or even unreasonably expensive self-ligating brackets.
Overall, I think this book is currently one of the best clinical guides for a young orthodontist. It helped me with acquiring a system in my clinical routine and I hope it might be just as helpful for many others. I have almost no conflict of interest: after I recored a video review of the book two years ago the author sent me his other books, but unfortunately they haven’t arrived yet. Russian UPS sent them back to the US two times. It looks we still have an invisible Iron Curtain…
You can buy your copy of the book clicking this link. Please note: this is an affiliate Amazon link. Small bonuses I have from this helps me to support Orthodontic Grammar project, whereas you pay just a regular price and not a dime more.