Editor’s Note: Treatment timing is still one of the more controversial areas for orthodontics. This is particularly true for skeletal problems, both Class II and Class III. Modern, efficient, multifunctional orthodontic attachments and exotic light wires do an excellent job of moving teeth. But what about sagittal challenges for mandibular and maxillary retrusion or protrusion? The one-phase versus two-phase treatment arguments still rage undiminished, despite incontrovertible evidence that growth guidance is a fact, properly done, at the right
time. An orthopedic surgeon would laugh if we asked him to correct scoliosis or other general skeletal problems in 1 to 2 years. He treats patients to take advantage of the optimal growth contributions. Growth guidance is a way of life. The major problem is treatment timing. When is the best response? Time, the fourth dimension, is critical.
In this issue, three papers, by Drs Baik, Deguchi, and Chung, deal with Class III malocclusions using three different samples: Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. After reading all of them, the clinician will have a better understanding of specific diagnostic criteria, gender differences, and therapeutic techniques and timing. In this specific paper by Jenny Chung, three females with similar maxillomandibular sagittal discrepancies were treated at different times, relative to their growth spurt and the onset of menses. Long-term posttreatment assessment addresses the relative stability for each patient. To the editor, these cases present incontrovertible evidence that treating patients when they grow is optimal for the best results, ie, more than just moving teeth, or doing orthognathic surgery, when it is too late. Copious records are shown here, and there are additional tables and statistics on the web edition of this WJO issue to delineate multiple precise cephalometric changes. Read and study all three papers! —T.M. Graber