Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

Famous Belgians and the Rock Stars of Orthodontics

I'm in the departure lounge at Dublin airport, headed out to the Annual Session of the American Association of Orthodontists. It's probably the biggest gathering of orthodontists in the world.

We'll be listening to speakers talking about their most up to date research, looking at new products made by companies from all over the world to do the best work for our patients, and finding out what will be shaping the future of orthodontics.

Two seats away from me is a Belgian orthodontic professor Hugo de Clerck. He's probably the world expert on using small metal plates attached the jawbone under the gum to treat really difficult orthodontic problems. I have been on his courses in Dublin and Brussels and used his technique a couple of times. He's probably flying via Dublin because of the US Customs preclearance at Dublin Airport, then getting a direct flight with Aer Lingus from Dublin to Los Angeles, and I suspect when he gets on a plane, he doesn't turn right when he has a choice.

He's an orthodontic rock star.

He's probably the most famous Belgian orthodontist. That made me think about Belgian rock stars. Probably the only one I know is Plastic Bertrand, and I know a fair bit about music. So the paradox is that the most famous orthodontist from Belgium is more famous (probably) in his field than the most famous rock star. Maybe not more famous than the most famous Belgian jazz guitarist (Django Reinhardt) or harmonica player (Toots Thielemans - you should really listen to his version of Hendrix's "Little Wing") or singer (Jacques Brel) and not more famous than the most famous Belgian actors (Jean Claude Van Damme and Audrey Hepburn). Belgium is pretty good for painters too, but their rock stars still have to catch up with their orthodontists.

Now imagine this repeated in every country in the world, all the world's top orthodontic educators and lecturers.

And they're all headed to LA today,

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