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Orthodontic Concepts and Strategies

304 pages, 2,300 illustrations. $186. 2004.
Quintessence Publishing Co., Inc.
551 N. Kimberly Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188
(800) 621-0387; www.quintpub.com.

Dr. Van der Linden has been a major contributor to the orthodontic literature for the better part of a half-century. A prolific author, he has published more than 180 peer-reviewed papers and a series of six textbooks on orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. As noted on the back cover of his current book, he has always had an interest in incorporating basic research into clinical practice. But while his previous books have reflected a heavy emphasis on craniofacial growth theory, Orthodontic Concepts and Strategies focuses on practical clinical applications.

The 18 chapters cover all the routine areas of orthodontic treatment, as well as such vexing problems as impacted cuspids, asymmetries, open bites, and "non-occlusions". I particularly appreciated the discussion of the "Validity of Facial Orthopedics", which Dr. Van der Linden addresses in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner. After a thorough review of the pertinent literature, the author concludes that "although facial orthopedics may not have a permanent effect, it facilitates the attainment of a good occlusion and, when used at an early age, provides several other benefits: functional conditions can be improved early, lip closure is stimulated, and the risk for fractures of maxillary incisors is reduced."

This kind of authoritative pragmatism permeates the book. To my mind, however, the book's strongest aspect is its copious illustrations, most of which could be described as works of art. Like the drawings in the author's earlier works on the development of the dentition, the illustrations in the first chapter, dealing with complications during the transitional dentition, are especially informative. Both reflected and direct views provide the reader with a three-dimensional perspective on the eruptive paths of the permanent teeth.

Overall, this is a remarkable text. It provides the reader not only with a solid theoretical underpinning for evidence-based clinical decision making, but also with precise mechanisms, in both words and pictures, for implementing those decisions. Strongly recommended for anyone involved in clinical orthodontics.



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