A great American orthodontic textbook. Part II: My favourite bits 

Over the past couple of months, I have been in a state of shock witnessing dystopian events unfolding in the close proximity to me. I’m finally making an effort to overcome my numbness and get back to blogging. Orthodontics is in the direct opposition to any military violence. Its goal is to give people smiles and happiness. With this in mind, let me move back to orthodontic issues…

A couple of months ago, I published the first part of my review of the famous Graber’s textbook. I mentioned a few flaws in it and promised that in a second part I only look at what I like about the text.

So, today I decided to look at my top-3 chapters…

3. Biomechanical Considerations with Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)

This chapter is written by a team from the University of Pennsylvania, USA and Yonsei University in South Korea.

TADs are still a relatively new area in orthodontics. We constantly see case reports demonstrating novel ways of TADs application. But we also have to keep in mind that even minor mistakes in the usage of TADs could bring us serious problems.

I think the main advantage of the chapter is that it vividly demonstrates the most common failures and side effects of TADs. The authors have an extensive expertise in the area and previously published an entire book on orthodontic mini-implants.

I have been actively using TADs for just a few years and this chapter provided me with a solid theoretical basis in the topic. 

Overall, it is a useful clinical chapter that might be of interest not only for the residents but for the experienced orthodontists as well.

2. The role of Evidence in Orthodontics

This chapter is written by two outstanding academic orthodontists, David L. Turpin and Greg Huang. It aims to explain where should we get our evidence from and how should we interpret it to back our clinical decisions. For me it’s not a text on just another orthodontic subject, but a blueprint demonstrating how high-quality orthodontics should look like, what are its principles and core ideas.

I am a big believer in evidence-based orthodontics and find it probably the last-resort movement that lays down the intellectual grounds for all what we do and prevents the specialty from sliding into being a cacophony of self-proclaimed gurus.

I highly recommend reading it to young orthodontists: it might be a first step in acquiring critical thinking – an essential skill in a contemporary market-driven orthodontic landscape. 

As the further reading on evidence-based orthodontics, I couldn’t recommend more a book of the same name.

1. The Decision-Making Process in Orthodontics

Making right decisions is probably as crucial in clinical practice as in our daily life. After reading all the chapters, I can’t help feeling that it is the pivotal text of the entire book. It is a balancing meditation on how should we apply our knowledge and expertise to each individual case. How to make rational decisions.

The chapter is written by William Proffit and Tung Nguyen.

Dr. Proffit for many years has been for me an embodiment of scientific approach in orthodontics. The approach that doesn’t worship any school of thought but aims to look at every clinical problem from the impartial stand point.

The narration shows how to collect and analyse data from various diagnosis methods without placing any particular method above the others but always keeping in mind the patient’s chief complaint.

The chapter abounds with great sobering ideas such as these:

“One of the most embarrassing mistakes an orthodontist can make is failing to address an issue that is of major concern to the patient.”

“Patients who are presented at meetings as the dramatic successes and failures are merely the outliers on a normal distribution curve.”

The text ends with Proffit lamenting on increased commercialization. “It is an increasing concern that the commercialization of orthodontics has begun to short-circuit certain aspects of diagnosis and treatment planning.” – he writes. He then directly goes at Align calling its advertising campaign “MAlign example”.

This is my most loved chapter from the entire book, it praises clear thinking over ambivalence, untruths, and greed. This is what we so urgently need today. In orthodontics and beyond…

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.

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