Beyond blood, sweat, and systematic reviews. A bigger meaning of orthodontics?

Man’s only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

But why blood and sweat to begin with? Orthodontics is so much fun! You put all the rage appliances into patients’ mouths, make a handsome income, and everyone around adores you. Why care about anything more? You already do pretty good.

Deceptive? Yes. Let me explain.

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On lie, reading, and the most beautiful thing in orthodontics


It was after a Tweed course in Tucson Arizona, June 2019. We were sitting with a group of young American orthodontists at some Mexican place in the downtown enjoying our tacos and discussing some of the common issues which all young specialists are facing across the globe. Then out of the blue one colleague asked me – “Is this true that the Russians always lie?”

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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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What Archibald Cochrane’s prison camp experience can teach us?

I am currently in the middle of a fascinated autobiography of Archibald Cochrane, a world-famous pioneer of evidence-based medicine. I first learned about him from Prof. Jonathan Sandler’s lecture at the 8th International Orthodontic Congress in London. 

Today Cochrane’s legacy is embodied in an international organisation which helps to conduct and disseminate systematic reviews. Cochrane Reviews are generally carried out to a very high standard and some of them are dedicated to orthodontic topics.

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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. 

Continue reading “Orthodontic biomechanics from A to Z: Part II”

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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