An A-Z of orthodontics.
An A-Z of orthodontics.
As we enter the dog days of a long wet English summer, I have decided to write a simple A-Z of orthodontics. It is meant to be light hearted….
Accelerated Orthodontics: A new orthodontic development that is currently not supported by scientific evidence. Promoted by Key Opinion Leaders. Maybe Snake Oil….
Bracket: A component of an orthodontic appliance that is stuck to the teeth. There are several types and range from conventional to others which are magic (see self-ligating).
Conference: A meeting of orthodontists that is organised by an orthodontic society. The conference has a scientific programme. This includes lectures, some of which are well attended (clinical show and tell), others (research) are not. There is a trade exhibition with other lectures by Key Opinion Leaders (see later).
Damon Bracket: Self ligating bracket. Advertising claims have been recently criticised by the UK Advertising Standards Authority.
Edgewise Bracket: Conventional bracket that seems to move teeth well. This is dependent on the skill of the operator.
Fastbraces: Are they?
Growth of the face: Used to be influenced by orthodontic treatment. Now it is not….
Headgear: Old orthodontic technique directed at modifying growth and reinforcing anchorage. It does not modify growth. Superseded by temporary anchorage devices.
Internet: Sole source of clinical information for some orthodontists
Journal: Traditional method of disseminating information. Articles are mostly behind paywalls and not accessible (apart from in the Angle Orthodontist). In general, the journals need to modernise and become more accessible. A good alternative source of information to Facebook.
Key Opinion Leader: Clinician who is paid by an orthodontic company to promote their products. Has a tendency to ignore scientific information.
Ligature: Old effective way of tying a wire into a bracket. Seems to work well..
Myofunctional appliances: A treatment that has amazing effects on breathing, facial growth, position of the teeth and academic performance. Unfortunately, it is not possible to measure the effects of this treatment. Possibly Snake Oil.
Need for orthodontic treatment: A vague and constantly changing concept. A major problem for funded orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontics: A great speciality and treatment that benefits many people.
Professor doing a blog: A person who is trying to disseminate knowledge. Maybe a “stuck record”..
Quack and snake oil salesmen: We know who you are, do you? But where do we draw the line? For example, one person’s speeding up treatment maybe another’s quackery?
Retention and relapse: The greatest orthodontic problem and mystery…
Sleep disordered breathing: A disease that may, or may not, be influenced by orthodontic treatment. Has potential to be quackery?
Self ligating bracket: I decided to use S twice. I have said enough about this subject. Claims are likely to be Snake oil.
Trade: Our close working colleagues who provide us with equipment. Their role is to sell. We have to interpret their claims using our scientific knowledge.
Undergraduate Dental Student: A person who is learning to be a dentist and is exposed to minimal orthodontic training in most countries, because of a shortage of academic orthodontic staff.
Volume of airway: I do not know if it is changed by orthodontic treatment. Does anyone?
Websites: Valuable source of information about orthodontic treatment. Some also contain a large amount of misleading information.
eXtractions: Method of making space for orthodontic tooth movement. Does not cause harm if correct mechanics are used.
eXpansion: Method of making space for orthodontic tooth movement. Does not cause harm if correct mechanics are used.
Young person: Orthodontic patient who we do our best to help.
Z Spring: Simple way of correcting a cross bite.
If you want to add to the list or make comments, can you post them in the comments section?
Emeritus Professor of Orthodontics, University of Manchester, UK.