Vienna School of Interdisciplinary Dentistry

Education in Occlusion Medicine


Interview Dr. Monica Casadei

Dr. Monica Casadei speaks about how she got involved in functional dentistry

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Monica, please tell us how you first got involved in functional dentistry. As I remember, you started your ‘dental life’ as a general practitioner?

M. Casadei: Yes, I started my dental professional life as a general dentist but I soon followed Prof. Slavicek’s courses in occlusion and function. To follow his concept in prosthodontic dentistry was reasonably easy for me, but to apply his ideas in orthodontics was really hard. The cooperation with my husband in our dental clinic was certainly helpful.
I fell in love with orthodontics when I met Prof. Sato. Incidentally Prof. Slavicek first called me in mid-august 1995 in my office and told me to attend this course offered by Prof. Sato.
This was very hard for me - if you know the Italian mentality (..laughing… -), but I believed so much in my mentor, that I took the course and my professional life was totally changed.

If you meet a dental professional for the first time, how would you explain, in short, the idea of VieSID and its educational system?

M. Casadei: The idea of teaching in VieSID is not only to consider the masticatory organ by the teeth structures, but to apply a holistic view to the entire system. We learn that this organ plays a significant role in many functions of the human being, like posture, aesthetics and chewing, of course, but that it is also strongly related to the psyche.
Prof. Slavicek’s hypotheses and Prof. Sato’s research on bruxism show the important role of the masticatory organ in the process of stress management and the polyvagal system.
So, it’s clear that orthodontics can’t be considered a simple aesthetic discipline.
Prof. Slavicek always points out: teeth are tools for function, and orthodontics has to provide this tool to properly function as function influences the organs of the human body.

From your point of view: What are the elements of the VieSID philosophy and how do they relate to modern dentistry in daily dental practice?

M. Casadei: The patient usually sees the dentist as somebody who takes care of their teeth, but nothing more. My patients are always amazed when I dedicate 1 hour to their initial visit to perform the full scope of initial anamnesis, including occlusal index, muscle palpation, filling out a medical questionnaire, and finally I look into the oral cavity to inspect the dental structure.

The key point of the VieSID philosophy is to have a medical approach to the patient as a whole, a holistic view as mentioned before. This approach, unfortunately, has been lost in modern dentistry. Therefore, it’s important for me to focus and promote our philosophy.

The masterminds are Prof. Rudolf Slavicek and Prof. Sadao Sato, the former is a prosthodontist, the latter is an orthodontist. What makes this combination so powerful?

M. Casadei: Both Prof. Rudolf Slavicek and Prof. Sadao Sato, are great scientists and practitioners with extensive knowledge and experience. Their great merit is that they’re not dogmatic, but always eager to learn and to be enthusiastic about constantly developing scientific evidence.
They’re often curious like children to go deeply into subjects and to take new challenges. Their gnathological concept can be applied to many fields of dentistry, such as orthodontics and prosthodontics.
This combination of elements is very powerful; it provides a very keen systematic approach for interdisciplinary dentistry in order to help patients with complex problems. It’s, in fact, a very unique perspective in dentistry. I’m happy that these two scientists met each other.

Prof. Sato uses the MEAW technique. Some orthodontists say that it’s too complicated and old-fashioned. They prefer to use new techniques like Invisalign. What do you think?  

M. Casadei: I consider Invisalign and similar orthodontic methods mostly as dental alignments but not as real functional orthodontic treatments. Certainly, for those colleagues straight-wire systems using, MEAW technique means a considerable learning curve and is time consuming.
But for me, MEAW offers many treatment options such as intrusive movements, changes of occlusal plane inclination, vertical changes, which are not possible to achieve with other methods in orthodontics.
Our cases are mostly treated without premolar extraction. It’s possible to treat cases which often would be transferred directly to surgery, for example open bite or severe Class III. Certainly, there will be future revolutions of the mechanics with the use of Temporary Anchorage devices (TADs - like mini implants).
The use of MEAW will be reduced in future. The important thing is to keep in mind the concept; MEAW is just a tool; However, it’s a very powerful one. 

You are the head of the VieSID clinical orthodontic course in Vienna which is offered in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna. Which are the key-points of your teaching approach?  

M. Casadei: What I consider most important in my teaching is to faithfully transfer the concept of Prof. Slavicek and Prof. Sato to the students.
But I also want to introduce some changes and updates in the mechanics. I want to make the students understand why a solid diagnosis and treatment plans are of great significance.
In this respect, students must understand why the orthodontist needs a detailed instrumental and clinical instrumental analysis before treatment.
They need to learn how to use an articulator and what to see in Condylography tracings. These tools will help them formulate a serious documented diagnosis.
In my professional experience, I found such systematics only in VieSID. And of course, my team and I help them with their own patients. They can present patients documentation and follow-ups and even have the possibility to bring patients for consultation and a second opinion.  

Thank you, Monica!


Dr. Monica Casadei, MSc – lives and works in Ravenna, Italy. She is married and has 3 children. She operates her own dental clinic together with her husband. She was educated by Prof. Rudolf Slavicek in function and occlusion at the University in Vienna and by Prof. Sadao Sato in orthodontics and MEAW techniques at the Donau University in Krems, Austria (Master).

She is certified member of Italian Board of Orthodontics and founding member and was director of the Italian Association of Gnathology from 2016 to 2018. She is member of IAAID (International Academy of Interdisciplinary Dentistry and SID (Italian Society of Orthodontics).

She translated 2 books written by Prof. Sato into Italian: “MEAW and a new approach of orthodontic treatment of malocclusion in relation to the dynamics of maxillofacial skeleton”

She is member of the international VieSID teaching faculty, member of the teaching team in VieSID basic curriculum in Italy and since 2016 head of VieSID orthodontic continuum course “Concept Prof. Sato” at the University Dental Clinic in Vienna Austria, which is a cooperative course with the Medical University in Vienna.