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JPO Interviews P. Raymond Begg


Dr. P. Raymond Begg was graduated in dentistry from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 1923. He became interested in orthodontics almost immediately and attended Dr. Edward H. Angle's courses in Pasadena, California from March 1924 to November 1925. Dr. Begg returned to Adelaide and started a practice of orthodontics utilizing the edgewise technique.

Some time after 1927 Dr. Begg broke away from his Angle background. He began to extract teeth as an integral concept of the treatment of malocclusions and he discarded the edgewise mechanism in favor of the light round archwire technique which he developed. His technique has changed the ideas and beliefs of many practitioners all over the world about orthodontics and dentistry. It is being taught in the postgraduate orthodontic departments of several university dental schools. The Begg Society of Orthodontists and the European Begg Society are further indications of the wide interest in Begg light wire treatment.

With such a rapid spread of this technique there are bound to be misunderstandings and misconceptions. In an effort to clarify some of the basics and fundamentals, a series of questions was posed to Dr. Begg himself and he was most gracious in providing his answers for the readers of JPO.

JPO plans to conduct a series of interviews with outstanding orthodontists from every part of the world. The editors feel that there is much to be learned through discussions with the leaders in our profession. An effort will be made to talk to orthodontists who represent every philosophy and technique. JPO wishes to be of service to all orthodontists.

  • Have you modified the technique in any way from the basic one that you presented in 1961? If so, how?
  • There are no basic modifications of the technique since those published in my article "Light Arch Wire Technique," American Journal of Orthodontics, Vol. 47 No. 1, pp. 30-48, January 1961.

  • Do you think that there is any combination bracket that is compatible with the Begg Technique?
  • No. Even if edgewise type brackets are reduced mesio-distally to a single point of contact, they are not efficient because rotations cannot be easily corrected with them and because over-rotations are even more difficult with them. As over-movement is a cardinal principle of the technique, these brackets should not be used because they are inefficient for holding teeth in over-rotation. The Begg/Chun-Hoon bracket is not for use with the Begg light wire technique. Its purpose is for use on patients whose treatment is started by a light wire operator with the exception that they will have to be referred during treatment to an edgewise operator. In other words, on future transfer cases.

  • What is your opinion on round loops as opposed to the formed intermaxillary hooks? Do you feel that the round loop throws the arch into two planes?
  • I now use round loops except when, through habit, I forgetfully make the old form of intermaxillary hook. If, as you mention, round loops throw arch wires into two planes, this is only of academic interest as these two planes are such a small distance apart.

  • When and where do you recommend the insertion of bayonet or offset bends in the molar area?
  • Bayonet or offset bends are hardly ever used in the molar area. If a premolar is slightly too far buccal or lingual, this is adjusted by Nature when the bands are removed.

  • Do you feel there is any significant difference in using a round buccal tube as compared to an oval-shaped buccal tube?
  • Yes. The latter are used on second permanent molars when these are the anchor teeth owing to loss of permanent first molars. Flat oval sheaths make possible the use of .016 archwires having doubled-back ends. Doubled-back archwire ends in flat oval sheaths afford universal control of second molar tooth movements.

  • How do you handle cases in which the bite does not open readily?
  • My comment is that if anchorage bends are of the right amount and are not bitten out, the deepest of anterior overbites opens up without difficulties, provided also that anterior teeth are kept in edge-to-edge relations by Class II elastics. If wearing Class II elastics ceases, deep anterior overbites that were well opened initially may collapse, and, through the effluxion of time, the force from anchorage bends tips back the anchor molars. The way to handle these overbites is to put back bitten-out anchorage bends and keep wearing Class II elastics, avoiding, of course, the production of anterior crossbite.

  • Do you treat cases in the mixed dentition?
  • Yes. Treatment of Class III malocclusions is started in the mixed dentition. Also, when upper anterior teeth are so protrusive that their unsightliness has an untoward psychological effect; when protruding upper anterior teeth are liable to fracture; and when they adversely affect lip function, they are orthodontically brought back in the mixed dentition period. However, treatment in the main is deferred until after eruption of the succedaneous teeth.

  • There has been some criticism to the effect that B point drops backward when the patient is being treated with the Begg Technique. What is your comment on this criticism?
  • Of course point B drops back by the end of Stage II in both extraction and nonextraction cases. However, as dental arches can be brought forward in the bone over distances as far as required by the action of torquing auxiliaries and root tipping springs, point B can be brought as far forward as required in Stage III.

  • What recent development in the Begg Technique do you feel should be brought to the attention of the orthodontist using your technique?
  • The torquing auxiliary invented by Dr. John F. Kitchton of Columbus, Ohio.

    JPO has asked Dr. Kitchton to write an article describing his torquing auxiliary and illustrating its use. Dr. Kitchton has kindly agreed and his article will appear in the next issue of JPO.

    DR. SIDNEY BRANDT DDS, Interviews Editor

    DR. SIDNEY  BRANDT DDS, Interviews Editor



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