New Year’s Orthodontic Hopes and Dreams
Happy New Year! This post is my usual start to the New Year. It outlines our hopes for the blog and orthodontics for the following year. When I write this post, I always look back to see what I wrote in my previous “Hopes and Dreams post”. I spotted that I stated that “Life, in general, is more important than orthodontics”. My opinion, of course, was influenced by the stage of the COVID pandemic. Unfortunately, we are still in a state of great uncertainty, but with a sign of “light at the end of the tunnel”. So I shall not be too gloomy in this post! Here are my orthodontic hopes and dreams for 2022.
I am very optimistic that face-to-face orthodontic conferences will return this year. While some meetings were held at the end of last year, there is still a chance that new variants may result in further changes. But let’s keep our fingers crossed.
I am looking forward to doing my last conference presentation in June. This will be to a small meeting of orthodontists. The meeting will be held in the Welsh village of Portmeirion, and I think that I will have trained and/or worked with most of the delegates. This is a fitting way to end my lecturing career.
You may not think that this is a typical Welsh village, it is a strange but brilliant place. You can find more details here.
I promise that I will post all my lectures on this blog. I know that I said I was going to do this last year. However, I got side-tracked by COVID isolation and lost some motivation. I also worked as a vaccinator in a mass vaccination centre. This was a great experience but took up a fair amount of my time. I am still doing this, but I hope it is more under control! I will do my best to post the lectures up as soon as possible.
Padhraig and I will continue to publish a weekly post. We will still concentrate primarily on trials and systematic reviews. However, we will also discuss interesting and well-done retrospective studies if they add to knowledge and discussion. I also hope that we can attract more guest posts. These are very interesting and provide a variety of viewpoints and add significantly to the blog.
Promoting good orthodontics
We take great pride in being orthodontists and in our work. Orthodontics has so much to offer. We can predictably make very meaningful, lasting occlusal and sometimes facial changes in the right patients. We do not need to chase down rabbit holes such as breathing or body posture to prove our worth. We genuinely believe that we can change many of our patients’ lives by practising sensible, evidence-based care. We will continue promoting and discussing studies that evaluate this type of intervention and outcome.
Finally, we will continue to vigorously challenge those who promote the orthodontic fringe and market-driven orthodontic techniques with little evidence supporting these concepts.
Importantly, we will continue to challenge the highly-paid KOLs. However, I have reflected on the past, and I will try not to make my comments so personal.
Breathing, expansion, and other lies
Over recent years, we have witnessed optimistic claims relating to “novel” appliances and techniques. The latest “new” treatment appears to be expansion. Nowadays, expansion seems to be accompanied by largely speculative claims for curing breathing problems, bedwetting and other systemic ailments. We will be paying particular attention to the research into breathing this year.
These are still challenging times, and I am concerned that I appear downbeat. I am sure that this reflects the current state of COVID. Nevertheless, we do have great hopes and dreams for this year. Let’s look forward to improving our patients’ lives for another year and another constructive year for this blog.
Emeritus Professor of Orthodontics, University of Manchester, UK.