On February 11, 2015, Dr Charles J. Burstone, orthodontist, educator, and researcher, passed away. The following is the Tribute and In Memoriam published in Dr Charles J. Burstone’s final book project titled The Biomechanical Foundation of Clinical Orthodontics (Quintessence Publishing, 2015). Dr Burstone coauthored the book with Kwangchul Choy, DDS, MS, PhD. The Tribute was written by Dr Choy and the In Memoriam was written by Michael R. Marcotte, DDS, MSD. To find out more information about The Biomechanical Foundation of Clinical Orthodontics or to order a copy, visit www.quintpub.com.
Dr Charles J. Burstone
Sadly for us, after finishing this book, a giant fell.
Most of the contents of this book are based on Dr Burstone’s energetic and rigorous research for more than 200 research articles. The format of this book was adopted from the lectures on biomechanics that we gave at the University of Connecticut and Yonsei University for many years. Over the last 3 years, my work with Dr Burstone to convert
those lectures and ideas into this book was one of the most challenging, most exciting, and the happiest moments in my life. As one of his students, an old friend, and a colleague, I have to confess that all of the concepts in this book are his.
In the beginning, Force was created with the Big Bang. Fifteen billion years later, Newton discovered the Law of Force in the universe. However, the knowledge of how to control orthodontic force remained an occult practice that was only revealed through years of orthodontic apprenticeship. It was Dr Burstone who uncovered the magic
and found the principles governing this treatment method that was once thought to be mysterious. There is no doubt that the Law of Orthodontic Force was his discovery.
I would like to share Dr Burstone’s words from his last lecture with me on February 11, 2015, in Seoul: “Don’t believe blindly in experience, but believe in theory, and think creatively.”
“My father shaped my body; you shaped my thoughts.” Charles, our dearest friend, may you rest in peace.
-Kwangchul Choy, DDS, MS, PhD
Dr Charles J. Burstone, orthodontist, educator, researcher, and friend to many, passed away February 11, 2015, of an apparent heart attack in Seoul, Korea. He died doing what he loved to do and in a place where he loved to be.
Dr Burstone is well known for the development of the field of scientific biomechanics. He was a master teacher in orthodontics who could bridge the gap between understanding key engineering concepts and applying them to clinical practice. He made biomechanics understandable by showing how to use simple engineering principles to solve most orthodontic problems. His Segmented Arch Technique was developed through the use of sound engineering principles.
Dr Burstone was unwavering in his enthusiasm for student learning and was dedicated to ensuring clinical excellence in his students. When I was a student, I can remember reviewing a patient’s treatment plan and him asking me, “What do you want to do with the lower incisors and why?” He emphasized the importance of having clear, specific, and defensible treatment objectives and then designing mechanical plans that would achieve those treatment objectives, step by step.
Over his lifetime, Dr Burstone trained hundreds of orthodontists first at Indiana University and then later at the University of Connecticut. He served as Department Chairman while at each institution. He was a recipient of many awards and honors and remained active in organized dentistry throughout his life, serving in many positions and lecturing around the world.
Dr Burstone also had a deep connection to Korea. He served there during the Korean War, and his photographs and movies from this period depicted everyday Korean life in a time of conflict. The National Folk Museum in Seoul developed an exhibit around his images entitled “Korea, 1952,” and his images were also used in a Korean documentary about the Korean War. He was devoted to Korea, and it is indeed fitting that his last lecture was delivered in Seoul.
He truly loved his profession and was a beloved mentor and colleague to many. He leaves the worldwide orthodontic community to mourn his passing.
-Michael R. Marcotte, DDS, MSD