As I begin this editorial, I will admit that most of what I will tell you is not original. I will simply use this opportunity to inform you of a new section of the Journal , and I will explain from whence it came. For the most part, the title is derived from the activities of Rodrigues Ottolengui. His accomplishments are fairly well known in orthodontics, but for those not aware, I will make a few informational comments.
Dr Ottolengui was a prominent figure in the early days of modern orthodontics. He was a man of great intellect and industry, and he accomplished much in orthodontics, other areas of dentistry, and pursuits outside his professional life. He practiced orthodontics and endodontics and was known for his work in treating patients with cleft palate. He was a courageous dental politician and leader at a time when various dental and orthodontic groups were being organized into their contemporary forms. He was a respected sculptor, photographer (landscapes and portraits), and an avid lepidopterist who produced museum-quality displays.
Beyond all this, Ottolengui was a writer and editor. Notably, his contributions had several facets. He was an acclaimed author of fiction; the body of his work consisted primarily of detective novels. With regard to the dental literature, he is mostly known for his editorial contributions in a publication entitled “Items of Interest” (later called “Dental Items of Interest”). His work in this capacity began in 1896 and continued for almost 40 years. During this time, the publication evolved from a series of clipped articles to one that was attractive, artistic, and broad. Notably, he initiated a whole section that was devoted to the fledgling topic of “orthodontia” and to many other emerging developments in dentistry. To paraphrase the account of Weinberger, Ottolengui acted as a “torch bearer of a wider knowledge, the aid to the teaching of a nobler science, and even an inspiration to better practice.” To honor the spirit and contributions of Ottolengui, the words “Items of Interest” are now being revived in a new form.
Of course, the term “International” is also added to the title. As to why that is important, I will not add a long discourse about the globalization of orthodontics, for that is apparent. Instead, I will merely suggest that the world now shares its knowledge concerning science and treatment through its orthodontic journals and other media, and that dissemination advances orthodontics at a faster pace and across a broader front than ever before. Knowledge, materials, appliances, and practices in use today are not restricted by geography as they once appeared to be. On the other hand, other issues and problems attendant to this development of orthodontics are not widely shared. If ideas, challenges, and solutions were shared, new advancements might be formulated. That is the intention of this new section of the Journal .
For example, the same appliances and materials are generally available across the world. Sometimes the advertisement of a certain appliance or material might be called into question regarding the claims that are made. Now, it might be that the claims are true, but maybe they are instead unproven, misleading, deceptive, or exaggerated. Likewise, the spread of crackpot ideas and treatments also can float freely across borders nowadays, and they too may be unproven, misleading, deceptive, exaggerated, or perhaps even dangerous.
Although many of these challenges are similar around the world, how different countries deal with them can vary greatly. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission deals with false advertising and consumer protection across the country, but also state governments, private watchdog companies, and even state dental boards can be involved. In other countries, because they have their own laws, practices, procedures, and customs, the same issues might be dealt with differently and decided differently. What seems important is for us to share our advancements and attendant problems; perhaps a good idea or outcome in 1 country will have meaning or spark an idea in another country.
With this in mind, one might ask what is to be included in this new section? As a start, see the Guest Editorial on the following pages. Dr Nicky Stanford came forth to introduce the new section of the Journal by providing an editorial and copies of several recent findings of the Advertising Standards Authority of the United Kingdom. I hope that you find this material interesting.
As to future “international items of interest,” here are the ground rules. Beyond this first installment, no editorial comment will be included—just the documents (rulings, findings, and so on) themselves in the form of a simple news item. The documents supplied must be in the public domain; no confidential or preliminary rulings will be accepted. The subject of the documents can involve any reasonable topic and can be submitted by any orthodontist in any country. Of course, each submission will be peer reviewed, and this will also include legal review. In a subsequent issue of the Journal , a ruling by the Irish Dental Council will be shared. We hope you enjoy this new feature and find it informative.
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.