What is Orthodontics?

Well, according to Google define: The treatment of irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusion) and jaws, including the use of braces.

Let’s get real though. Orthodontic residencies tend to be outdated in their approach on teaching orthodontics. Not all, but most schools are still very traditional in their approach due to the old school testing on the orthodontic boards. East coast orthodontics mentality seems to be set in their ways whereas West coast schools are more open to innovation. Well, at least in my experience, but there are schools both on the East coast and the West coast that are starting to change or at least be aware of the outdated orthodontic teachings. Orthodontic residencies should teach what the Google definition claims, “treatment of IRREGULARITIES in the teeth and jaws.” We need to look at the whole face irregularity, not merely the occlusion. After all, this is a question to orthodontists: What is really the cause of occlusion? Think about it.

Being in dental school right now though, one thing is for sure not just in orthodontics, but also in dentistry: this field can be subjective and we need to find a way to quantify dentistry and its specialties. Accuracy and precision are needed and dentistry itself is a much archaic in its technology. After all, we’re dentists, not Silicon Valley tycoons.

So you know what we should do? We should let the innovation begin. And innovation comes at a price. In order to progress, we must always improve. Innovation today may be old tomorrow. Like Elon Musk once said, “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

And that’s clearly the problem with the dental field. We are taught by faculty who were taught by their faculty who were taught by their faculty, and so on. Everything was passed through generations with barely any significance of improvement. The improvements were “inside the box” thinking and any “outside the box” thinking were deemed illogical and not “systematically reviewed research” approved. But from talking to MIT PhDs on systematically reviewed articles, we all know the “systematically reviewed” process to be questionable in itself. It’s more of a bureaucracy and politics system, rather what is actually truth. Power tripping happens through ego bruising and the people in power need to take a chill pill. It’s important to realize that it’s not important to want to be right, but rather, what is right. Know the difference and discern the information clearly and objectively.

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