The History of RWISO

Dr. Ron RothSometime after Dr. Ron Roth began practicing orthodontics, he came to the conclusion that the quality of orthodontic results could be improved with the inclusion of functional as well as aesthetic treatment goals. Thus, Ron dedicated an inquisitive mind and strong work ethic towards better understanding the physiology of the gnathic system. 

Long hard study and much time were spent with the sages and early pioneer leaders in functional occlusion. For example, the early researchers in gnathology such as Drs. Charles Stuart and Peter K. Thomas helped Dr. Roth to better understand the principles upon which the gnathic system functions.

With great persistence and commitment, these principles were gradually incorporated into the Roth treatment philosophy and techniques. During this time he began to lecture and teach these concepts to his orthodontic colleagues. 

Later he began to work and teach with Dr. Thomas Basta, noted restorative dentist and gnathologist. Together with the help of other colleagues, they founded The Foundation for Advanced Continuing Education or "FACE", in 1975 in Burlingame, California.

Dr. Bob WilliamsDr. Robert Williams was a student in the first class taught at FACE. The FACE course was an extensive commitment lasting over two years. Participants were thoroughly exposed to principles of functional occlusion and clinical applications. In the earlier courses, "hands-on" techniques were taught to restorative and orthodontists simultaneously using full gnathological instrumentation.

Gradually Dr. Roth's teaching and writings made an impact on American orthodontics, and at the same time, Dr. Roth became recognized as the standard bearer for clinical excellence in the profession. Interest began to mount internationally and Dr. Roth carried his courses to other parts of the world. Sometime thereafter, Dr. Roth's teaching endeavors were enhanced when he was joined by his longtime student, Dr. Robert Williams. Drs. Roth and Williams eventually founded the Roth Williams Center, a clinic and training institution in Burlingame, California. Orthodontists commit to a 2-year continuum to learn how to implement the concepts of functional occlusion into their practice. The first orthodontic class at this facility began in February 1991. 

As Dr. Roth continued his teachings and travels it became more and more obvious to him that goals of physiology were not adequately taught or practiced in the "mainstream" of orthodontics. Indeed, at the time of this writing, very few orthodontic schools in the world teach functional occlusion as part of orthodontic treatment philosophy. Recognizing this void in orthodontics was an inspiration for Dr. Roth to add physiologic concepts into orthodontic ideology. 

It is now clear that Dr. Roth's work had significantly influenced American orthodontics. Moreover, the teachings of Drs. Roth and Williams have immensely influenced orthodontics abroad. The two were highly sought after in many foreign lands such as Spain, Germany, Japan, Korea, and South America. Currently, there are over a dozen countries, (the number is growing steadily) with Roth Williams Teaching Centers. The Roth Williams Orthodontic Treatment Concepts in the United States are currently taught by the Advanced Education in Orthodontics (AEO) group at the University of Detroit-Mercy in Detroit, Michigan. (Website:

On May 5, 1994, the first International Meeting of graduates of the Roth FACE and the Roth Williams courses was held in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a two-day meeting with strong emphasis on clinical orthodontics and the attainment of functional and aesthetic goals. The attendance, the response, the mood, and the camaraderie at this meeting were unique and inspirational, to say the least. The enthusiasm and commitment that emerged when orthodontists from around the world were brought together by a common philosophy clearly indicated the need for a long-term international group. At the Atlanta meeting, steps were carried out to lay the foundation for a permanent organization. The first RWISO meeting held outside the United States was in San Sebastian, Spain, in 2000. The meetings of RWISO are held annually in one of the countries with Roth Williams Teaching Centers.

The orthodontic profession lost a gifted leader and friend as Ron Roth passed away in January 2005. He left a priceless legacy - teaching his students that orthodontics is a health profession, not just a cosmetic service. His passion for the "truth" is carried forward by those whose professional and personal lives were immeasurably changed for having known him. His former students, from around the world, now lead with research, innovation, and clinical advances in providing functional occlusions. Dr. Bob Williams continues to focus on international Roth Williams teaching at the centers around the world.