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the dynamic and
changing field
of orthodontics
oday’s graduates from U.S.
orthodontic programs bring
with them a treasure trove of
knowledge and experiences that
will change the face of orthodontic clinical
practice in the coming years. Most of us
have had the opportunity to hear lectures
about new technologies, but applying that
knowledge in a busy practice can take a lot
of time, energy and money.
A few of these new technologies: temporary
anchorage devices (TADs), cone beam
computed tomography (CBCT), sophisticated
treatment planning for patients in need of
orthognathics, interdisciplinary treatment
for craniofacial syndromes or sleep
apnea, the use of fixed appliances with
fully customized bracket prescriptions,
periodontal bone engineering, corticotomies
to speed up tooth movement, new protocols
for improved treatment efficiency, control of
white spot lesions, and laser surgery.
There is very little standardization among
programs on the degree of exposure to new
techniques. Some resident clinics take
routine 3-D radiograms on each and every
patient, while others take them only as
deemed necessary, and some not at all.
Many of these developing techniques will
gradually be incorporated into private
practices as these young orthodontists
associate with or transition into existing
practices, or start their own. Orthodontics
is a dynamic and challenging field. The
need for careful training and mentoring
is now clearer than ever. The expertise of
the orthodontic specialist becomes more
important as well, as these new technologies
also bring new risks and uncertainties.
―Dr. Gerald Nelson,
Editor, PCSO Bulletin
PCSO Bulletin • summER