Lecture in honor of Bedřich Neumann


Honorary Lecture - Friday, September 23, 2016

50 years of orthodontics- looking at the past and the future

Much has changed over the 50 years I have been working with orthodontics, not only our profession, with new fields of knowledge and new materials expanding our possibilities beyond belief, but also the world in which we live. Changes in the politics of Europe in 1989 removed barriers making free exchange of knowledge and ideas between east and west Europe possible. Over many years of teaching and cooperation with the Czech and Slovak republics I have witnessed the development of orthodontics as an important element in modern integrated odontology. Many developments have changed orthodontics, new techniques have replaced old and some old established principles may even have been forgotten in the name of progress. The position of the orthodontic specialist has also changed, from a place in isolation from the remainder of the odontological team to an integrated member of the modern odontological community, changes which make great demands to training of new specialists. In this short overview I would like to present some of the major personalities in orthodontic development over the last 50 years and their ideas which have formed my orthodontic life as well as to consider some of the important changes I have witnessed in our profession- for better or worse! I would like to offer a few thoughts about the future of orthodontics- based on my own experiences over time and considering a question often asked: “Is orthodontics a science or an art?”

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