Book review

From Volume 5, Issue 3, July 2012 | Page 92


Niall JP McGuinness

PhD, DDS, MScD, BDS, BA, FDS(Orth) RCPS(Glasg), DOrth, MOrth RCS(Edin)

Consultant Orthodontist/Hon Senior Lecturer, Edinburgh Dental Institute, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9HA, UK

Articles by Niall JP McGuinness


This book is a study of the superimposition methods used in cephalometric radiography to quantify growth and the results of treatment. It takes the reader through the history of pre-radiographic methods of evaluating skull form and shape from the 18th Century, with an account of the work of John Hunter (1728–1793) in using madder dye to assess mandibular growth in pigs. Further developments are described, leading up to the work of the paleoanthropologist Sir Arthur Keith and the dentist George C Campion in 1922 in which they presciently superimposed their skull sections on the pituitary fossa and the cribiform plate – the two structures that were later found by Melsen to remain in a stable relationship to each other throughout growth.

The work of Arne Bjork is extensively referred to and the various methods of superimposition that he and his co-workers advocated are discussed in great detail. The advantages and disadvantages of each are also given, and the authors recommend the use of the ‘structural method’ of superimposition – on the basis that the traditional bone-based landmarks are unstable and change their relationship to one another with time and treatment (with the exception of adults over a short time period).

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