Making innovation happen

Besides reading and editing clinical articles and working with the best authors and practitioners in the orthodontic world, my favorite pastime is playing with my 4-year old granddaughter, Emma. After careful deliberation, about a year ago, she announced that she had decided to become a dentist. I would expect nothing less from a child who owns six toothbrushes and a bag of pre-loaded flossers. The Play-Doh “Doctor Drill ‘n Fill” set that she got for her birthday clinched her decision even more. Not only do budding toddler dentists get to mold teeth out of Play-Doh and drill holes to fill cavities, but they can also roll out colorful orthodontic brackets and attach them to the teeth, to get some much needed practice between preschool and graduate school.

Contemplating Emma’s possible journey into the orthodontic world made me think of the specialty’s evolution over the years and its amazing potential for the future. In the 1880s, orthodontic pioneer Norman W. Kingsley experimented with many different materials to move teeth, including linen twine, rubber tubing, leather, and vulcanite. It wasn’t a great time for patients. Some had to endure treatment such as an apparatus placed over the top of their heads and secured to their chins or held with bands secured to maxillary incisors.1 Thank goodness, now patients need fewer extractions before orthodontic treatment, and brackets and wires are made from materials developed for increased patient comfort and more precise movement. With the advent of clear aligner technology, some patients may not even need traditional braces. Because of different techniques, many patients can wait longer between appointments and even speed up the rate of tooth movement. CBCT imaging and digital impressions bring even more precision to the treatment process. Years from now, the potential for new innovations will take orthodontics to even greater heights for treatment options and patient care.

In each issue, Orthodontic Practice US features case studies, CEs, and other articles that showcase both new and tried-and-true technologies, techniques, equipment, and materials. Many other opportunities are available for hands-on learning as well. For example, Drs. Dave Paquette, Jep Paschal, John Graham, and Luis Carriere are inviting orthodontists to attend what they tout as the biggest and best clinical education and marketing event of the year — Henry Schein® Orthodontics’ (HSO) Orthodontic Excellence and Technology™ Symposium. With a theme of “Innovation Happens Here,” this informative meeting will be held at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, from February 22-24. The event will feature new product innovations such as the Carriere® Motion 3D™, the all-new Carriere SLX 3D Clear Bracket System, as well as breakthrough treatment concepts such as Sagittal First, with clinically proven protocols for faster braces and aligner treatment. Hands-on training and breakout sessions will be available for both doctors and staff members.

In this issue, an editorial focus of our two CEs is the legal aspects of running an orthodontic practice, specifically in the areas of informed consent and measures to avoid costly human resources issues. Besides staying current on the clinical side of the practice, being aware of possible legal pitfalls can keep everyone aware to avoid stressful situations.

As we welcome 2018, the team at Orthodontic Practice US welcomes you to become involved and invested in our publication. Please email me with your ideas for articles on any topic that is of interest to the specialty, from clinical to technology to practice management. Or, if you want to call, I’m always ready to discuss subjects that will help our readers become more successful. For those who want product profiles or web-based marketing, our MedMark Media team is ready to help you spread the word. The orthodontic community can make a difference by sharing ideas and insights. And in a couple of decades, if Emma actually decides to trade Play-Doh teeth for real brackets and archwires, hopefully she will be able to use your inventions and techniques to change her patients’ lives. Until then, let’s enjoy the journey, and help make innovation happen!

Until next time,
Mali Schantz-Feld,
MA Editor in chief

  1. Posnick JC. “Pioneers and Milestones in the Field of Orthodontics and Orthognathic Surgery.” Orthognathic Surgery. London: W.B. Sanders Co. Ltd., An Imprint of Elsevier Health Services; 2014:18-60.

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