Brooklyn Orthodontist Announces “The Numberless Ruler” to Discover the Cause of Buck Teeth

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Dr. Ted Rothstein, Orthodontist Unveils Method to Assist Orthodontists Measure the Extent of Deviation in Their Patient’s Jaws and Teeth Scientifically: The “Ruler with no Numbers”

Composite Norm Male 12-years-old

"Find out the cause of this effect: Or, rather say, the cause of this defect; for this effect defective, comes by cause." --William Shakespeare

Dr. Ted Rothstein’s ruler with no numbers is a tool he invented to help orthodontists assess whether a patient’s orthodontic problems are in part caused by the shape and position of their jaw bones. The method is unique in that the diagnosis is made based on comparing the new patient’s head X-ray to a same age and sex, template representing normal children.

Dr. Rothstein had the good fortune to obtain his doctorate in Anthropology under the guidance of Dr. Wilton M. Krogman While he was not an orthodontist, he applied the principles of Physical anthropology to the dentofacial complex with craniometry and roentgenographic cephalometry (head measuring with X-rays). He brought to orthodontics a set of criteria for growth and development of the child and adolescents that set the standard for all future research. He was director of the Philadelphia Child Growth and Development Center where he immersed himself in obtaining data about normal and abnormal growth and development including the jaws and dentition using the primitive instruments available in those days. However, when head X-rays were introduced to orthodontists he realized their power to help understand and diagnose the problems orthodontists were frequently confronted with.

An orthodontist from Australia, Geoffrey Walker, had devised a “mathematical” model of the skull which he ardently believed would combine the anthropological principles of measuring skulls and a potential wealth of data available from X-rays, of which Dr. Krogman had thousands, including a large number of children with a very common orthodontic problem: buck teeth.
It took an enormous amount of time to gather the head X-rays of the 600 children, trace them and convert them in to data by the use of Walker’s “mathematical” model of the skull thereby permitting an infinite number of measurement in minutes. The magnitude of the study can be appreciated by downloading the PDF document Dr. Rothstein prepared.

In essence his research compared large samples of males and females at age 10, 12 and 14 having normal jaws and dentition (the control group) with similar groups of children having buck teeth.

Previous researchers, including the founding father of orthodontics, Dr. Edward H. Angle, were convinced that when patients had buck teeth the cause was due to a smaller lower jaw or a lower jaw positioned further back than normal children.

Dr. Rothstein’s research clearly demonstrated that in children with buck teeth the lower jaw was most often normal in size and position. No other study of a similar magnitude has refuted his research findings.
More importantly his study generated “composite standards’” from the normal control sample groups of males age 10, 12 and 14 and likewise for the female samples. These standards were produced by having the computer average the data produced from the “mathematical” model of the skull. (See PDF document, p.7)

What makes the ruler without numbers unique is that the orthodontist may visualize the problem as an alternative to having to induce a diagnostic conclusion by taking arduous linear and angular measurements and mentally juggling them to confirm what the problem is with the jaws and teeth.

Click here to see the tracing of a patient's lateral head X-ray and the ruler without numbers for 12-year-old males. Simple instructions for analyzing the patient's jaws and teeth using the ruler are also given.
Dr. Rothstein cautions that of course there are children who in fact do have smaller jaws or jaws that are more backwardly positioned. It is the orthodontist’s job to distinguish among his patients the size and position of both jaws and how they relate to one another.

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Ted Rothstein
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