Marc Bernard Ackerman, DMD, MBA

I was drinking my morning cup of coffee and was pleased to receive the latest blog update from my friend, Kevin O’Brien (Manchester, UK). Last week I touched on the relevance of the cephalometric radiograph legacy collection in contemporary orthodontics. I noted that the excess radiation of a post-treatment x-ray of any kind’s risk may outweigh any benefit to the patient. The response from cyberspace was equivocal and some comments were more pointed than others. So I was pleased to read another take on the relevance of legacy radiographs.

His blog on this topic is:

In summary, he presented a brand new publication from the European Journal of orthodontics that performed a systematic review of published systematic reviews in an attempt to identify differences between the results of trials with concurrent and historical control groups. Here’s what Kevin presented as the conclusions of the paper:

  • For clinical questions studies should include concurrent untreated controls
  • When untreated controls are not available, or possible, a control group receiving standard therapy should be used (treatment as usual).
  • Studies with retrospective designs and historical control groups should be viewed with caution.


Maybe it’s time to retire the AAOF legacy growth collection to the same museum that holds Kodachrome slides of full banded orthodontic cases.