STRAIGHT TALK FROM Dr. NAZEER
How did you get interested in Orthodontics?
I was really influenced by some of the great pioneers and leaders in the field of orthodontics. My interest in physics also pushed me towards orthodontics. Orthodontics requires a basic understanding of the bio-mechanics involved in moving the teeth to the desired final position. An orthodontist needs to know the exact concept of orthodontic force and tooth movement.
It was during my undergraduate dental training that I really became interested in orthodontics. As a young starry eyed dental intern, I was really fascinated by the amazing results that my professors used to give their orthodontic patients. We had good dental clinics in Chennai – India, where we used to treat some extremely complicated dental and skeletal malocclusions. We used to work with limited materials and achieved extremely good clinical results. I was lucky to have studied under them. Today orthodontics has advanced significantly, thanks to improvement in technology and we are able to achieve even better results.
I was impressed by the improvement in self esteem and confidence in all the orthodontic patients after smile correction! The ability to control or modify jaw growth and improve the facial profile made orthodontics a very interesting subject for me. The amazing ability to correct skeletal problems of jaw growth with functional appliance treatment in growing children kindled my curiosity in the field.
As an Orthodontist with quite a long experience, which braces system do you personally recommend?
It is actually a pretty difficult question! It’s like asking “which car do you personally love to drive?” I would like to put it this way to make it easier to understand. It really depends on the road you are planning to drive as well as the terrain. You will definitely choose a SUV in a rough terrain or desert, even if you love sedans, don’t you?
Honestly, I do not recommend any particular braces system. I love working with all kinds of braces, as each one has its own advantages and drawbacks. I prefer to choose my braces depending the dental problem I am planning to solve. I take into consideration the patient’s age, skeletal or dental malocclusion, pre-treatment arch width, nose prominence and the facial profile. I also take into account my patient’s concern for aesthetics. I select my braces by keeping all these parameters in mind!
Every orthodontist will have a soft corner for a particular braces system. What is your favorite?
As I said before, I do not have a preference for any particular kind of braces system and like to select the braces depending on the malocclusion and problem I am going to correct.
Can you enlighten us about the advantages and drawbacks of the different braces you have worked with?
I would like to start with the advantages of traditional fixed appliance. They are extremely good appliances and give wonderful results, of course depending on the skills of the treating orthodontist. You can do any kind of complicated tooth movement with these traditional braces. The drawback of fixed appliance is that that you need to take meticulous care of your oral hygiene and prevent plaque build up around the brackets. Other wise you will land up with white spot lesions or cavities.
What is the scientific basis for orthodontic bio-mechanics and research?
Always remember that bio-mechanics didn’t originate with orthodontics. It existed since the time of great leaders in physics like Galileo and Newton. More recently, it includes research in material science, material properties, beam theory and finite-element analysis. Those of us who do research in orthodontic bio-mechanics build up on the foundation from the basic science of engineering and physics. It is due to this research in new materials and their properties that we were able to get new technologies like invisalign and other clear aligners. I personally feel research must be a continuous process which must be utilized to create new technological advancements for better orthodontic treatment and patient care!
You have research article publications in several high impact international journals. How important are publications in your field?
Publications and research articles are important to open up new avenues for discussion and improvement in the field of orthodontics. It helps to disseminate knowledge about new clinical innovations and advanced treatment techniques among the orthodontic peers. Highly reputed international publications like the American Journal of Orthodontics, World Journal of Orthodontics and Journal of Clinical orthodontics are important tools for knowledge sharing among orthodontic professionals. As an orthodontic professional, I strive to bring continuous improvement in the technology and orthodontic treatment mechanics. We understand that all the patients deserve the best and new research helps us achieve the goal.