Review of Orthodontic Social Media. 2022 update.
One of the most popular posts on my blog is the yearly review of some of the social media sites. So here is this year’s update. I hope that you find it useful.
I have slightly changed the direction of this review and have not tried to review all the sites. Instead, I have only included those that I find interesting and relevant. This, of course, reflects my interest in good clinical reports and evidenced-based orthodontics. I have been somewhat critical of some sites in the past, and on reflection, I wonder if this was the correct approach. As a result, I will only include my opinion of sites I like and be more constructive.
Orthodontic Facebook sites.
I think that there has been an increase in orthodontic Facebook sites. I believe that this reflects the ease of setting up groups and pages. Perhaps combined with an increasing interest of academic orthodontists in using social media. In any case, this has increased our choice of sites to view. These are the sites that I recommend, some are old, and others are newcomers to my list.
Facebook is a surprisingly useful source of information; however, it can also be an aggressive environment. For example, I used to take part in discussions. Unfortunately, I got a reasonable level of abuse. So now I try to confine my activity to just reading the posts.
Orthodontics Mastery Group (11K members)
This is run by Mo Almuzian, a specialist orthodontist in Scotland. His main aim is to provide educational content. He has developed this over the last few years. Interestingly, it has attracted several high-profile clinicians who have started posting good case discussions. The group contains good clinical posts, questions, and short discussions of contemporary literature. They only accept specialists and trainees as members. I really recommend this group.
Orthodontics study group (30K members).
This is another improving group. It is run by Dr Ramy Almogy, who works in Egypt. In many ways, this is like the Orthodontics Mastery Group. It contains posts on clinical and research questions. I like this group because most discussions are polite, and members act very professionally. It feels as though it is well-moderated. Importantly, there is no name-calling, bullying, or aggression. This is well worth joining. The quality of the group is reflected by the high number of members.
Myofunctional orthodontics (17K members)
I know that some of you may think that this is a controversial choice. This Australian-based group is dedicated to discussing myofunctional orthodontics. It is clearly a voice for the “orthodontic fringe”. It is closely allied to Myofunctional Research and Myobrace. However, it does not promote this company as widely as it once did.
I find the case reports an interesting insight into this form of care. I am still critical of most of its content and the claims made. Nevertheless, it is relevant to anyone interested in the multitude of attempts at intercepting malocclusion.
Last year I commented that the moderators and main contributors had reduced the rhetoric and aggression in the past. I am pleased to say that this trend has continued. I follow this out of interest.
Orthodontic Pearls (8K members)
I have been very critical of this group, as I thought it was losing its way. However, over the last year, it has reverted to its original format of providing a forum for clinical tips. Interestingly, there are fewer posts by KOLs. This has improved the group.
Posts are primarily helpful clinical tips along with case discussions. The standard of records presented is generally high, and the discussions range from simple to far more complex cases. As a result, this site is helpful to orthodontists with varying experience levels.
This new group was set up as an antidote to groups that had become dominated by self-interest, KOL postings and the exclusion of anyone remotely critical. I like this group. The discussions are professional and polite. They confine the membership to specialists and those in training. I recommend this small but friendly group to anyone interested in civil debate about evidence-based orthodontics.
There are two new(ish) groups that I recommend. I will declare a conflict because I know the group leaders well, and they provide input into my blog. The groups are also a platform for associated courses run by the group leaders.
However, have a look at them and see what you think. They are different from the other sites that I have mentioned. I wonder if the best way to describe them is as “mini-blogs”. This is because they provide information in small, straight-to-the-point posts.
Orthodontic Fundamentals (9Kmembers)
This is run by Padhraig Fleming, Professor of Orthodontics in Dublin and is a relative newcomer to orthodontic social media. The main aim is to provide evidence-based discussion about orthodontic cases and other problems. They lean heavily on contemporary and historical literature. Most of the posts are clinical discussions about individual cases. However, Padhraig also provides short posts on common clinical issues, for example, how to take registration for a Twin Block or deal with asymmetric molar relationships.
This group is run by Martyn Cobourne and Andrew DiBiase. It is an excellent combination of the art and science of orthodontics. The group is closely allied to their textbook. The main object of this group is to use cases and publications to advance evidence-based care. Similar to Orthodontic Fundamentals, they provide short posts discussing important aspects of orthodontic research and its clinical application. Again, a valuable resource to follow.
This is a very interesting group that is led by Bjorn Ludwig. I have only just become aware of this site. Like others, it contains very relevant clinical cases and information. They draw attention to contemporary literature. There are also interesting case discussions. I think that this group is excellent and will become more popular.
This is now an established orthodontic social media resource. It continues to improve and is excellent. This is run by Farooq Ahmed, and he publishes great podcasts in which he summarises conferences and papers. He has also interviewed many prominent orthodontists. All the podcasts are gentle and polite discussions. I really enjoy listening to them. It is a really great addition to orthodontic social media.
I am still enjoying writing my blog. The readership is holding steady at about 35-40,000 hits a month. I am recruiting more people to join Padhraig Fleming as regular contributors.
I have confined most of my posts to higher-quality research papers. But, we are not discussing low-quality papers or systematic reviews that are uncritical data-dredging exercises. As a result, I hope that we are providing more constructive criticism.
Nevertheless, I will still call out the more unscrupulous members of our profession who sell their sole and honesty for money to promote products lacking evidence base.
I am currently recording all my lectures, which will be posted soon. I am also learning how to do podcasts as I need to keep up to date with social media!
We hope that you have found this helpful information.
Emeritus Professor of Orthodontics, University of Manchester, UK.