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Orthodontics for the Face


414 pages. $153. 2014.
Self-published; available from www.orthodonticsfortheface.com.

I enjoy reading orthodontic journals from back to front, starting with the clinical case reports. In fact, I find studying well-documented treatment techniques to be the best way to learn. As I examine the photographs, I envision that particular patient walking through my door and ask myself how I might have planned such a case.

If you share my sentiments, then Orthodontics for the Face is just the book for you. Dr. Counihan has compiled a collection of beautifully treated cases, with records spanning many years in retention. Written in conversational prose, the book is divided into 10 chapters. The first of these reviews the extraction vs. nonextraction debate, providing a rationale for extraction of second molars as an alternative to premolars. The remaining chapters are organized by common orthodontic conditions: Class I, II, and III malocclusions; bimaxillary proclination; congenitally missing teeth; and impacted canines.

As the title of the book implies, the majority of patients are treated without extractions. The emphasis is on Cetlin mechanics, including active Goshgarian palatal bars, maxillary molar kick plates (Acrylic Cervical Occipital Anchorage appliances), and mandibular lip bumpers. Equal attention is paid to Class II correction with Twin Blocks. As I marveled at one remarkable case after another, scrutinizing every photo for ideas and treatment techniques, I felt transported back in time to my residency, when I was reading Systemized Orthodontic Treatment Mechanics by Drs. Richard McLaughlin, John Bennett, and Hugo Trevisi.

This is not an academic textbook, however; Dr. Counihan observes in his afterword that the cases represent his experiences in surviving life's "school of hard knocks". Indeed, every case report imparts pearls of clinical wisdom. My favorites included using inverted lower second-premolar brackets with the bases flattened to torque lower incisor roots lingually, using a Sander spring to upright impacted mandibular second molars, and extracting second premolars rather than first premolars to avoid arch narrowing and excessive lip reduction.

I encourage every young orthodontist to pick up Orthodontics for the Face, whose proceeds go to charity, and let Dr. Counihan be your teacher. Class is in session.


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