I returned today from five great days of continuing education and meetings in Asheville, North Carolina. This meeting and the scientific programs (lectures and continuing education) are the centerpiece of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics annual meeting, and the board meetings are part of my responsibilities as the councilor for the Rocky Mountain and Southwestern Orthodontic Societies. I always like to publish the latest in orthodontic research and advancements that are being made in the field of orthodontics, and what I can incorporate into my practice here in Castle Rock.
Of great interest was the procedures being performed by Dr. Flavio Uribe and his team of orthodontists at the University of Connecticut. Patients who have bites and facial appearances that are severely deviated (usually due to an underlying skeletal imbalance of the upper and/or lower jaws), traditionally require about a year of orthodontics followed by orthognathic surgery (performed by an oral surgeon to re-position the upper and lower jaws), and another 9-12 months of orthodontics to fully correct the bite and skeletal imbalance of the jaws. Dr. Uribe and team are now performing the surgical portion of treatment immediately after the braces are placed, and orthodontics follows this surgery to correct the bite and imbalances. They are finding a greatly reduced time that the patient spends in braces with this method, along with avoiding the transient time period where traditionally the patient’s teeth were “decompensated” prior to the surgery. Decompensation of the teeth is where the teeth are initially placed in a more ideal position for after the surgery, but usually makes the teeth look more unattractive during the period before surgery. It also makes the planning for insurance coverage more precise and predictable. This is certainly something that I will discuss with the oral surgeons that I use for surgical/orthodontic cases in the Castle Rock area, as with selective cases this appears to be a win- win for myself and my patients.
As far as the yearly report from the American Board of Orthodontics, there continues to be a rise in the number of young orthodontists that are putting in the time to become board certified, which is encouraging for our profession. Becoming board certified is not only requires hundreds of ours and dedication to prepare for, but also raises the level of care for the public that we serve across the country.
Dr. Dan Rejman is the owner of Meadows Orthodontics in Castle Rock, CO, and has been Board certified by the ABO since 2007.