We would like to thank Dr Ellis for her interest in our recent guest editorial. We were disappointed that she felt that our criticism of practitioners who do not fully evaluate the effectiveness of new treatment methods was “unfair.” Our main aim was to draw attention to the widespread adoption of new techniques based upon the claims of manufacturers, many of which were underpinned by extremely weak levels of evidence. We agree that, before 2007, “there is precious little evidence” about the effectiveness of these new techniques upon which we can base our clinical decisions. We are confident, however, that recent clinical research has provided us a much firmer evidence base than previously available.
It is also important to point out that the current state of clinical knowledge on the effectiveness of self-ligating brackets has been summarized by the AAO Council on Scientific Affairs in the AJO-DO . The conclusions were that there was no proven advantage in the use of self-ligating brackets over conventional brackets.
Dr. Ellis concluded that she will take into account the evidence on the effectiveness of new technologies as it presents. We still feel that the widespread changes to practice, based on advertising claims and anecdotes, should not have occurred in the absence of real evidence. As this research is published, we will indeed see whether the “Emperor’s clothes” are in fact “new.”