An occasionally irregular blog about orthodontics

A massive end of year and Christmas orthodontic blog!

By on December 21, 2015 in Personal opinion, Recent posts with 6 Comments
A massive end of year and Christmas orthodontic blog!

A massive end of year and Christmas orthodontic blog from Manchester, North of England….

At the end of each year I reflect on this orthodontic blog and publish a Christmas orthodontic blog that reflects on the previous year.  I evaluate the activity using various analytics programmes.  I am pleased to find that this year the blog was read 185,000 times and the average number of hits per day was 780.  At the start of the year I set myself a target of the blog being read 120,000 times and so I am very pleased with these figures. Nevertheless, I am a little disappointed that I did not hit 200,000 hits.  The main reasons for this are that I took a break driving down Highway 1 in California after the AAO congress in San Francisco.

Highway 1 at Big Sur, California

Highway 1 at Big Sur, California









Herniated cervical disc at C6/7 (arrowed) in 58 year old orthodontic Professor

I also  had cervical spine surgery in October which put me off work for 8 weeks.  I guess that these were two contrasting experiences!  Anyway I am aware that I am beginning to bore my colleagues and friends with my stories of my recovery from an operation to remove a cervical disc at C6/7 with fusion of two vertebrae via an incision at the front of my neck, done by a top neurosurgeon who looked about 12 years old…so on with the blog.




As usual, at the end of the year I am going to review the top ten posts of the year in terms of popularity.  So here they are counting down from 10 to 1.  I know that some of you will have read them, but if you want to revisit them just click on the links.


Number 10.  Does anchoring a fixed functional appliance to the mandible have an effect?

This post was about a trial in which the investigators stuck fixed functional appliances to the skeletal bases using miniscrews. I found that this was an interesting development and while the trial did not show much of an effect, this type of treatment should be investigated further.

Number 9. A brief guide to removable functional appliance treatment

I did this post with my friend and colleague Professor Jonathan Sandler.  This was a “show and tell” post in which we simply outlined our current treatment regime for ClassII malocclusion. This got a lot of hits and good comments because we had provided a clinical guide and was a welcome departure from the usual style of me “sounding off” about something or a review of a study.

Number 8. Early Class II treatment: Part 1: The wheel keeps turning. Uncertainty and the Pyramid of Denial

This was the first very popular post of the year and I was surprised. I did this as a summary of a presentation that I did at the AAO meeting with Jonathan Sandler.  I think from the comments on the post and on Facebook, that people really liked the “Pyramid of Denial” of research findings. This was picked up by other specialties and is relevant to other “non-orthodontic” research.

Number 7. New evidence on the treatment of palatally displaced canines!

One of the subjects that was very popular was concerned with methods of intercepting the impaction of  maxillary canines.  This was the most popular post and was based on a great paper by Julia Naoumova.  This paper was really interesting and added to our knowledge. There was also a great discussion with 20 contributors and this is worth reading, as they raised several interesting issues.

Number 6 Let’s talk about myofunctional orthodontics…..

As I look back at my training and clinical work, I do wonder about the role of soft tissues in the development of malocclusion.  While it is clear that the soft tissues influence the position of the teeth, my feeling is that it is quantum leap to then suggest that an orthodontic appliance and exercise can influence the soft tissues and position of the teeth.  In fact, there is little published evidence that underpins this concept.  But it is still an interesting growth area and we will return to this next year.  This post was my interpretation of the current evidence.

Number 5 Is it better to use a fixed or removable appliance to correct a crossbite?: The final answer!

I find that the most interesting trials are those that look at a common clinical problem. This post was my summary of the evidence derived from several papers by Anna-Paulina Wiedel and her team.  This was a great example of how to investigate a form of treatment with minimal resource and provide useful information.  We need more of these papers..

Number 4 A new dental disease: Orthodontosis and orthodontitis

We are now up to the posts that were read more than 5,000 times.  This post was somewhat light hearted and I reviewed a paper and a letter in the British Dental Journal on a new Dental disease that the authors termed Orthodontitis. It was interesting to find that this disease could be treated most effectively by Fast Braces..

Number 3. What is the best treatment method for Anterior Crossbites: fixed or removable appliances?

I have included this paper even though I have mentioned it at number 5. I need to be consistent and this was read 6,000 times.  This was my in depth discussion of their paper on the most effective method of cross bite correction.

Number 2.  Should General Dentists provide orthodontic treatment?

I am sure that the UK is not unique, in that there is a debate about who should provide orthodontic treatment.  I gave my personal opinion in this post and it was very interesting to see that it was read very widely and appeared in other discussion groups etc. Essentially, my message was that the answer to the question is not about specialisation but we should consider competencies. But you cannot gain these competencies at one day course in hotels given by advocates and gurus!

Number 1.  Lets talk about Acceledent….

We would all like to make teeth move faster and Acceledent is a new technology that aims to do this.  But, unfortunately, the evidence that this  works is still lacking. This post was my first in depth analysis of the clinical trial that was published on the AcceleDent website. I also criticised the trial when it was published in Seminars in Orthodontics in this post (AcceleDent again). Cyclic vibration accelerates tooth movement; A clinical trial!.  I was not only critical of the trial methodology, interpretation and conclusions but I also raised issues with the fact that this was published in a refereed journal. I admit that I did “go off on a bit of crusade” but I feel that if we are going to sell a technology to our patients, we should at least be sure that it works!

Anyway it has been a good year for the blog and I will start up again in the first week of January.

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There Are 6 Comments

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  1. Maimana says:

    Happy new year Prof., great efforts and great blog. you should be proud and not disappointed at all.

  2. ralph robbins says:

    i have always found your analysis of the topics very helpful to my clinical cases, especially acceledent and damon braces..have you done any reading/research on propel???
    evidence based treatment is so important to the upgrading of our orthodontic profession

    • Kevin O'Brien says:

      Thanks for the comments. We have not done any research on propel, but we are working up a project that should be good to do and clinically relevant

  3. Hero breuning says:

    Hello Kevin,

    Thank you for alll your work! Have a nice and healthy 2016.
    Your opinion on Propel should be interesting.I discussed the articles available with dr. j.C.Maltha at the University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Placement of extra miniscrew holes in the alveolar process should indeed speed up orthodontic treatment, at least in that region. The two articles by Teixera are relevant. The technique is simple and less complex then other accelerating processes. However the publications are limited

  4. David Meyer says:

    I just started reading your blog the beginning of this year and have found it informative and entertaining! My son will start his orthodontic residency this summer so I have forwarded it onto him as well. It will be a big help to his education and my continuing education!

  5. Mojtaba Abdi says:

    Dear Kevin
    I have been behind in reading my emails etc. just want to say my thanks for all your efforts.
    I always learn from you.
    Kindest regards and best wishes

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