JAWS – Dr. Proffit and Dr. Ackerman Review a “Sensationalist” Book!


“Science, my boy, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which are useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”
Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth

It’s been a while since I last posted on the blog due to work and family time constraints, but we’re back this time with a review of a review!

As the title suggests, this post is about a review posted by Prof. William Proffit, James Ackerman and Tate Jackson on the blog The Orthodontics Professors. It is a review of a new book by Dr. Sandra Kahn and Paul R. Ehrlich entitled; Jaws: The Story of A Hidden Epidemic. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018 (Apr.


Image Source: http://www.manlydesign.com.au/project/shark-braces/

The book is described as the “result of an unusual interaction between a private practice orthodontist with ties to an English “orthodontic philosopher” and a prominent evolutionist / cultural anthropology professor.” The book’s premise is about presenting malocclusion as a “disease of civilization”, and makes bold – though rather as yet unsubstantiated claims – that environmental effects are by far the most powerful influence on jaw growth and the subsequent development of malocclusion. The ideas presented in the book give a nudge to the “orthotropic” movement and myofunctional therapy concepts which have yet to take hold in the larger orthodontic community due to lack of rigorous, scientifcally-validated evidence to their complete validity.

In their blog post, they describe the book as “sensationalist”, and counter the authors’ argument with their own. Regardless of your personal view on the matter, it is actually very good that there’s now an open discussion on this matter and it’s in the interest of open-mindedness that I post this blog post to further broaden the reach as much as possible.

I would love to hear your comments on this issue in the comments section or private messaging, if need be.

To read the full post on their blog, click HERE, and you can find the Amazon link for the book HERE.

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