Six thoughts on the six keys to good occlusion

In 1989, a Californian orthodontist, Lawrence F. Andrews, published a book where he accurately described his landmark invention and a concept behind it. I am honoured to have a signed copy of this historic text, which he gifted me four years ago while I was travelling across America. Being an undisciplined reader, I let sit it on the shelf till last Christmas.

The book Straight Wire: The Concept and Appliance tells the story of how a study of 120 casts of naturally optimal occlusion lead to the development of the first preajdusted appliance. It is a carefully written text explaining basic concepts of the straight-wire appliance. It has plenty of beautiful drawings, but from the viewpoint of a clinician the most exciting feature of the book is apparently 200+ photos of before and after dental casts. These are the records from 1960s and 1970s collected by a number of orthodontists. The quality of the results is exceptional.

I decided not to indulge myself into retelling the six keys and straight-wire philosophy, but rather write my own subjective ideas loosely based on the book…

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A surgery book

Over the past year, I’ve started several dozens surgical cases. It is a specific group of patients requiring special attention.

Today I am going to review an excellent textbook that can become a lifebelt for those who are stepping into the realm of orthognathic surgery. I will also indicate several aspects on presurgical orthodontics that I consider the most critical.OBR12 illustrarion.jpeg

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My last post on DIY orthodontics

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

As the majority of the world’s population, I’ve spent the past few weeks at home. This made me reflect on my orthodontic path and also on my writings in this blog, which I started 3 years ago. It was initially planned as some sort of a road journal to document the landscape I see around advancing on my way.

In retrospect, I can’t help feeling that the bulk of what I have seen and depicted was not about orthodontics, but rather DIY orthodontics…

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Family traditions

Last week, I published a post where I stated that it is important for an orthodontist to know the history of the specialty. I also briefly mentioned board certification, indicating that it is one of the greatest orthodontic traditions.

Today I would like to look closer at several other traditions and traits that have shaped our specialty.

On the road to the Charles Tweed Foundation, June 2019

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On genealogy

I know very a few about my genealogy. As many families in modern Russia, mine for generations had been unable to communicate with the relatives outside the USSR.

I started this year with a short trip to Italy to pick up my DNA kit and do a test to finally find some data on my ancestry. Unfortunately, there is no shipment to Russia.

I have no intent to go into personal details since this blog is dedicated primarily to orthodontics, but I can’t help feeling that knowing your own history is not less important for a specialist than for an individual.

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Phoenix generation

I have recently finished reading a wonderful book titled ‘The Golden Age of Orthodontics’ by a senior Californian orthodontist, Dr Norman Wahl. It was a true delight: honest, passionate and thorough analysis of the evaluation of orthodontic specialty by the person who himself participated in the process since the graduation in 1963.

The author has defined and described three main periods in the formation of the specialty:

• 1930-50 From the Depression to the Golden Age
• 1950-70 The Golden Age
• 1970-80s Decline

He has also illustrated the present situation with all of its disagreeable features: tremendous student loans, deficit in academic staff, the encroachment of teledentistry, etc.


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Orthodontic professors who are not

In recent years, I have seen a lot of inappropriate use of academic titles in orthodontics and dentistry in general. I think this is a serious problem. This may be especially hazardous for young specialists who are not enough experienced to distinguish truth from imitation.

In this post, I will briefly describe my experience in communication with pseudo-professors and indicate some potential measures the orthodontic specialty may develop to address this issue…


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