DeAngelis DMD,Vincent of Woburn on November 22, 2019. Beloved husband of Margaret (DiPirro). Loving father of Tami DeAngelis, Vincent M. DeAngelis, Mark V. & his wife Jolene DeAngelis & Todd C. DeAngelis. Adored grandfather Of Amanda, Nicholas, Angela, Audrey, Samuel and Lucia.
A funeral will be held at St. Eulalia Church 50 Ridge St. Winchester on Monday December 2nd at 10:30am. Visiting hours will be held at the Lane Funeral Home 760 Main St. (Rte.38) Winchester on Sunday, December 1st 2-5pm. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Interment Wildwood Cemetery 34 Palmer St. Winchester. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Cancer P.O. Box 22478 Oklahoma City, OK 73123.
Arrivederci, Vincent DeAngelis, and thank you for the legacy
A man with a signature above his name: “Sincerely”
The orthodontic method Vincent DeAngelis introduced to us was at is at his image: straight shooter and principled. The son of Massachusetts who studied dentistry at Tufts, orthodontics at Harvard/Forsyth, and practiced in Medford, Mass, shunned complicated or complicating matters. Honest, outspoken, respectful, considerate, generous, courageous, all attributes fit the man’s “common sense” personality. Joining this all-American life (proudly tinted by Italian origins) with a wife who defines the word “lady” and four loving children completed the dream and framed the legacy.
On the professional front, he was an active player in local and national orthodontic and dental associations, serving in various capacities including President of many (e.g. Northeastern Society of Orthodontists, Angle East), and earning various awards and accolades. The Harvard Society for the Advancement of Orthodontics honored him in 2002 by naming the Vincent DeAngelis Education Award to deserving educators. True to the proverb, he taught a student how to fish to feed him for a lifetime, rather than giving the fish that satisfies him for a day.
A man with “hands-on” inspires confidence and comfort. To him, a problem was resolved by facing it, wine is sipped and words are spoken at the right time, and life is beautiful with dignity. In personal contacts or public discourse (including his letters to the editor regarding publications on various topics), the man was true and genuine, all the way to “sincerely” at the tail of a letter, and above his signature; it was not a routine repetitive expression, but a reflection of his authentic disposition.
A specific side of Vincent DeAngelis is described in the words he wrote about CFA Moorrees, the mentor he called “the Boss”, and which apply to him: “[Moorrees] refused recognition for his selfless efforts. This reluctance was owing to his humble, gentle nature. He was truly a ‘rare bird’.” Vincent DeAngelis was further described as a statesman, a gentleman “who looks you in the eyes”, a giant practitioner and educator of bottom-line and high-standard clinical orthodontics who moved teeth with calculated respect to their biological environment.
Clinician and educator: physiology and no-harm
Pragmatic, knowledgeable, and skeptical about “commercial” innovations, Vincent DeAngelis’s approach to natural, realistically-planned, physiologic, do-no-harm tooth movement reflected an outcome of health that should never be violated. He introduced the amalgamated technique in the quest to attain the “most physiologic tooth movements: no pretense has been made that this goal has been reached”, adding a sobering quote from Raymond Thurow on evaluating mechanotherapy: “Understanding the advantages and limitations of the ultimate choice is more important than the choice itself.” The technique combined the “best” of the edgewise and the Begg techniques, to provide light forces, and avoid the unnecessary side effects of “round tripping” teeth and root resorption. In this creative and scientific scheme, he aimed to emulate as much as possible physiologic tooth movement in an individualized and controlled plan rather than via a generic recipe of treatment.
In justifying the dedication of the book Biological Mechanisms of Tooth Movement (Editors V. Krishnan, Z. Davidovitch, 2015) to Vincent DeAngelis, we wrote that the most natural motive for the dedication was that he “devoted his life to promoting “physiologic” tooth movement.” As resident with the legendary educator Coenraad CFA Moorrees at the Forsyth Dental Center (presently Forsyth Institute)/Harvard orthodontic program, he researched the biology of tooth movement in rats using different models, yielding leading biologic knowledge that imprinted his clinical thought and strategy.
As clinical instructor and admired professor in the same program, he passed on this approach to those of us who were his residents and who rightly (and at times mistakenly) saw orthodontics as a simple undertaking, provided by a master clinician who treated thousands of patients. In reality, what his “seamless” orthodontics reflected was an amalgamation of sound scientific principles, practical mechanics, but more importantly an analytical mind that could see both the forest and the trees. In this perspective we understood why his teaching colleagues sought his “second opinion.”
Adieu, Vincent De Angelis. We shall remember you as the consummate clinician and an accomplished educator with an indelible legacy on countless patients and grateful students. On their behalves, we elevate a loud, common, simple and loving: Thank you, followed by your “signature”: Sincerely.
You shall remain a man of one season: truth under the sun.
Joseph G. Ghafari, DMD
American University of Beirut
Quotations are from the following references:
1. DeAngelis V. Observations on the response of alveolar bone to orthodontic force. Am J Orthod. 1970;58(3):284-94.
2. DeAngelis V. Begg-edgewise, an amalgamated technique. Am J Orthod. 1976;69(3):301-17.
3. DeAngelis V. The amalgamated technique, a mechanically and biologically efficient method for controlled tooth movement. Angle Orthod. 1980;50(1):1-15.
4. DeAngelis V. A 50-year journey from Begg to Straight Wire and beyond: Is orthodontics on the right course today? J Mass Dent Soc 2010;59(2):38-42.
5. DeAngelis V. The rationale for second premolar extractions the treatment of Class II malocclusions in the adult. Advances in Orthod (Harvard Society for the Advancement of Orthodontics) 1999;6(1):5-6.
6. DeAngelis V. Letters to the Editor. J Mass Dent Soc 2010;59(3):6.
7. Ghafari JG. Dedication to Vincent DeAngelis: for relentless attention to cells and tissues in orthodontic tooth movement. In Biological Mechanisms of Tooth Movement. V. Krishnan, Z. Davidovitch (editors). Wiley-Blackwell, 2015.