Down to the wire in orthodontic art

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Down to the wire in orthodontic art

Orthodontic students show artistic skills in competition
Steve Steinberg

A smile can be a work of art. So it’s not surprising that orthodontists in training can use their skills and materials to devise other beautiful creations.

Dr. Lauren Todoki, a resident in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Orthodontics, took top honors in the department’s 51st annual wire sculpture competition, the department announced. Dr. Todoki won with a creation titled Wish Upon a Thousand Cranes, depicting a female figure encircled by a flock of twirling cranes. It refers to the Japanese belief that by folding a thousand origami cranes, one can have one’s most desired wish granted.

Runner-up honors went to Dr. Robert Lee for Proposal, a depiction of a marriage proposal.

Other entrants were:

Dr. Sam Finkleman with Inuksuk, a figure made of piled stones commonly used to communicate in Inuit culture

Dr. Princy Kuriakose with The Hummingbird

Dr. Adam Skrypczak with Hook ʼEm, a depiction of a longhorn

Held since 1966, the contest is open to first-year orthodontics residents. They are required to use   orthodontic materials such as wire, rubber bands and dental acrylic.

Entries are judged by a vote of faculty, staff and students in three categories: most esthetically pleasing, most innovative design, and highest technical competence.

The contest was inspired by the late Dr. Ben Moffett, a department faculty member for three decades. After taking a UW art class in form and function, he thought it would be helpful to have weekly lectures on the subject at the School of Dentistry. Strong interest in the lectures led to the creation of the contest.