The limits of tongue

I have recently been asked by a colleague to explain why do I use English language for professional communication? This is a reasonable question since my first language is Russian. I know it way better and speak much clearer. However, I can’t help feeling that my mother tongue is not suited well for orthodontic purposes. I wrote about this issue three years ago and am going to return to it now. At the moment, I am having a long railroad trip across Russia. So I am in the right mood to reflect on Russian, English and where we are heading…

So, why do I use English for orthodontic purposes? I am going to narrow down my answer to three C’s: certainty, communication, and conservatism.

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Novoyaz. How to poison a language?

Novoyaz is a mutilated version of Russian language that was imposed by the communists in the 1920s. This was done to bring the political agenda to the masses. As a result, many new words with very vague meaning had been infested into the language. Even the name of the country, the USSR, was for the most part a non-sensical abracadabra.

I can’t help feeling that this has contributed to the fact that Russian language is barely functional these days. Interestingly, almost all significant Russian writers of the 20th century at some point of their careers switched to other languages (mostly English): Vladimir Nabokov, Ayn Rand, Joseph Brodsky, etc. Moreover, if you go out to the streets of Moscow today, you most likely won’t hear people speaking Russian. It would be either a language of some former Soviet republic or a word salad consisted of some Soviet cliches, bureaucratic jargon and swearing.

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The 10 orthodontic commandments: the great truths or the ancient prejudices?

Charles Tweed is truly a Moses figure for orthodontics. He lead his people out of Edward Angle’s non-extraction realm, opposed the golden calf by stating that there is a limited number of patients one could handle, and – the most striking similarity – his teachings have solidified into the 10 orthodontic commandments.

Last year, I wrote about the Tweed’s 10 rules from the perspective of contemporary evidence-based care. I got pretty ambivalent feedback as a result. Some people would say these are still the great truths, others would disparagingly tell me these are nothing but the ancient prejudices…10 commandments interpretation Continue reading “The 10 orthodontic commandments: the great truths or the ancient prejudices?”

Hey, follow me on Instagram! On Walter Benjamin, mass reproduction, and professional ethics in the age of digital overload

“Just as water, gas, and electricity are brought into our houses from far off to satisfy our needs in response to a minimal effort, so we shall be supplied with visual or auditory images, which will appear and disappear at a simple movement of the hand, hardly more than a sign.”

Paul Valery, 1928

I have recently decided to kick off an Instagram account. It seems like a useful tool to keep afloat as an orthodontist in a private practice. However, I have several concerns. Would it compromise the professional ethics? Would I be able not to create a skewed image of the specialty in the eyes of the patient? Wouldn’t the images eclipse the message?


I want to give it some thinking. In this blog post, I want to look at the issue of the visual stimuli of social media with some help from a famous 20th-century German philosopher, Walter Benjamin. I am particularly interested in his short essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Given that most of the specialists agree that orthodontics is a mixture of both arts and science, I think this makes a perfect sense… Continue reading “Hey, follow me on Instagram! On Walter Benjamin, mass reproduction, and professional ethics in the age of digital overload”

The third anniversary of the Young Orthodontist’s Notebook

I started this blog this very day three years ago. For the first couple of years, I had not been very active here, but becoming more experienced as a clinician I write more frequently.

I am going to develop more practical and pragmatic focus in my upcoming writings. By now, I decided to look back at the most popular blog posts I have written so far. Interestingly, the more practical a text is, the more reads it gets. Here are the top five.


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Retention has nothing to do with a retainer. A very personal opinion

I have recently seen online a video introduction by a well-known British orthodontist to attend his upcoming lecture on retention. And this forced me to write this post.

This is true that British researchers have been very active in the recent years carrying out studies on retention. But I can’t help feeling that the question researches always ask in such studies is absolutely wrong. It often sounds like this: which type of retention is better?

In my opinion, a type of retainer or how it is worn has almost NOTHING to do with the problem of retention. I am going to write my post about what I consider important for stability. This is very subjective view which I base on my clinical experience and my critical evaluation of the long-term records from different sources.

Selecting_the_best_type_of_retainer_after_your_Invisalign_treatment.jpg Continue reading “Retention has nothing to do with a retainer. A very personal opinion”

Three major takeaways from the book that made my summer (Dentofacial Esthetics: Part 3)

I spend my summer locked-down in Moscow with almost no possibilities to have a trip abroad. On the bright side, I do have my patients coming back from the Covid break to resume the treatment. And I also have some time for reading.

I have recently finished an interesting comprehensive book by Dr David Sarver, Dentofcaial Esthetics: From Macro to Micro. I have already made two blog posts on it (the 1st and the 2nd). Now I am going to give you three main takeaways of the entire text… in my opinion, of course.

DSC04307 2.jpg

Continue reading “Three major takeaways from the book that made my summer (Dentofacial Esthetics: Part 3)”

Dentofacial Esthetics. Part 2: Aquire a system!

About two weeks ago, I published the first part of my review on a wonderful new book by David Sarver titled Dentofacial Esthetics: From Macro to Micro. I was then reviewing the first three chapters of the book. Now I am going to look at the following two.

In the beginning of the fourth chapter Dr Sarver points out his adherence to checklists and suggests a reader to take a look at a book by Dr Gawande The Checklist Manifesto. ‘No matter how expert you may be, well-designed checklists can improve outcomes’, states Sarver.

During these two chapters we go through cases in which Sarver shows how he applies checklists to evaluate and then improve smile characteristics of his patients. Very reasonably he points out: ‘The profession of orthodontics has hundreds of cephalometric analyses, but to this point, I know of no orthodontic smile analysis’…DSC04271.jpg Continue reading “Dentofacial Esthetics. Part 2: Aquire a system!”

On prescription again, really brief!

Recently, I wrote a blog post and then shot a video ranting about Dr. Lawrence Andrews and the virtues of having a prescription. Now I decided to write a ‘so-what’ blog post trying to answer a question what prescription to use? I’ll keep it short…


Different bracket designs engineered by Edward H. Angle in the beginning of the 20th century.

Continue reading “On prescription again, really brief!”