rocky mountain orthodontics ®


Since the 1930’s, Rocky Mountain Orthodontics (RMO®), has made dramatic advances in the science of orthodontics, establishing itself as one of the leaders in a rapidly evolving field; a field that dramatically improves people’s lives. Since its formal incorporation, RMO® has been known as a company of energy and ideas – traits that remain at the core of the company’s philosophy today.


RMO® is much more than a business and model of excellence among Colorado corporations. The company is the oldest privately held orthodontic firm in the United States, and is a Denver institution whose company history is tightly linked with the history of Denver and orthodontics itself.

In the Beginning

Before the advent of chrome alloy (stainless steel) and prior to the founding of RMO®, orthodontists had to be skilled craftsman as well as doctors. In fact, much of their time was spent devising, constructing, and maintaining their own oral appliances. Because those appliances were typically fabricated from gold alloy, which tended to loosen in a short period of time, a large part of an orthodontist’s work was dedicated to repairing and adjusting the appliances after they had been put into use. The orthodontist’s job demanded mechanical skill, diligence, and even artistry. And yes, for all of the effort involved, the occupation was often less than rewarding. Even the best orthodontic appliances of the day were woefully limited in their effectiveness.

All of that changed with the development of versatile stainless steel alloys coupled with the ingenuity and foresight of RMO®’s founder, Dr. Archie Brusse, a pioneer Denver orthodontist. With a small but capable staff, and with help from an executive at the American Steel and Wire Company, RMO® set about developing the first set of prefabricated orthodontic appliance system options; using stainless steel as the major component versus gold. After much clinical research and experimentation, the first system of appliances was unveiled in 1933 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Orthodontists, in Oklahoma City, OK. Reception was limited, and most recognized leaders of that time felt the appliances would not work.

In time, the impact of these prefabricated devices on the world of orthodontics was dramatic. Simply put, they changed the face of dentistry. The wide variety of appliance shapes and sizes supplied by RMO® enabled orthodontists to treat a diverse array of patients more effectively.

These developments coincided with a period of significant progress in the science of bone biology and tooth movement, which was particularly beneficial to both RMO® and the field of orthodontics overall. New studies were revealing the long-term ineffectiveness of oral appliances that exceeded certain thresholds of pressure in moving teeth and resetting bites. Thus, a new mantra in orthodontics, delicacy and strength was born. These two qualities perfectly characterized light, clean, versatile RMO® appliance options.

“Not only did Archie Brusse and his small staff turn a fledgling depression-time start-up business into a multi-million dollar industry leader, but they also helped attract dentists to the practice of orthodontics by vastly improving the quality and diversity of tools available to them. By extension, RMO® has made invaluable contributions that have improved the oral health and self-image of countless satisfied patients.”

Mr. Martin Brusse, son of owner Archie Brusse, continued to foster his father’s creation and was named CEO/Chairman of the Board in 1948. He continued to lead the company for more than 60 years. In 2010 he received the Dean’s Award in memoriam for his strong support of the University of Colorado School Of Dental Medicine, and as a faithful contributor to many community and civic causes.

RMO® can be proud of the loyalty and the efforts of the employees and the local commercial suppliers who have helped it succeed and advance during the company’s history. RMO® is, by all measures, an international standard, poised to build upon its legacy of excellence for decades to come.

The Products

RMO® has always enjoyed being an innovator and visionary in the orthodontic market, pushing the practice of orthodontics to new frontiers while consistently providing a benchmark of quality for other companies to follow. One example of RMO®’s visionary concepts begin over 60 years ago when RMO® introduced the “Snap Channel” bracket.

Self-ligating may seem like a recent technology when in fact RMO® introduced this idea over 60 years ago.

Synergy R® represents a modern day “Snap Channel” Bracket created using sophisticated software programming tools, MIM technology, and precise engineering. This is only one example of how RMO® has been consistently maximizing available technology and developing quality products for doctors and patients.

Currently RMO® serves all aspects of orthodontics. RMO® recognizes that all patients differ and that all orthodontists vary in education, experience, treatment approach, appliance performance, and final detailing. Since the needs of every doctor vary, RMO® is committed to developing practical Synergistic solutions.

Synergy develops when two or more interactive parts of a system produce an effect in which the power of the interactions of the whole become far greater than the sum of the parts. RMO®’s attention to synergies provides practices with a wide selection of dependable treatment options.

RMO® serves three broad categories of orthodontics:

Category 1: Diagnostics

Increasingly RMO® has emphasized the development of computer –aided diagnostic and treatment planning tools.

These information innovations have provided powerful analytic information that has helped doctors and their staff effectively treat each patient’s individual growth and development. This results in improved outcomes, more predictable results, and less failure for patients.

Since 1969, RMO Data Services® has engaged in an ongoing program of progress through continuous research.

RMODS® is based upon case and research information derived from a worldwide orthodontic network consisting of practicing orthodontists, universities, and researchers. The information contains the latest scientific findings in the field of orthodontics. This information is used along with the doctors’ personal treatment philosophy to form a complete detailed analysis of each patient prior and during treatment.

RMODS® has several new methods for sending and receiving diagnostic services:

  1. e-ceph allows the doctor to transmit their patients’ records digitally and the complete diagnostic work-up sent electronically back to the doctor.
  2. e-ceph web allows the doctor to complete the tracing in his / her office and electronically submit the tracing to RMODS® for the final analysis.

Category 2: 1st Phase Orthodontic Treatment / Functional Education

RMO® has been actively involved in early treatment form the beginning introducing devices such as stainless steel crowns, Class II correction appliances, and the Nūk. A close partnership was developed when CEO Martin Busse collaborated with Dr. Ricketts on his vision for the Bioprogressive philosophy in 1957, after the European Orthodontic Society (EOS) in Copenhagen, Denmark..

RMO® continuest its commitment to 1st phase approaches, believing the majority of people favor early interception over more complex measures in later years. Over the years RMO® has introduced many 1st phase appliances including:

  1. Wilson appliances – The Wilson® 3D® system comprises a series of interrelated fixed/removable intraoral modules that simplify and improve treatment. Wilson® 3D® appliances can be used to supplement all techniques while delivering practical and simple solutions to both typical and extraordinary movement challenges. RMO® sponsors numerous CE events that teach the skills needed to incorporate Wilson® 3D® concepts and materials into your present technique.
  2. The Multi-FamilyTM System Appliances are myofunctional appliances that can be incorporated into your practice during all phases of orthodontic treatment. They are Functional EducationTM Appliances used as early as 5 years old to reduce muscular forces in the mouth and promote proper alignment of the teeth; or as late as 13 years old, during fixed appliance treatment, to facilitate mandibular positioning. The Multi-Family System is versatile and functional for both doctors and patients.

Category 3: Fixed Appliances

Since the beginning, RMO® has designed innovative fixed appliance options for orthodontists. From creating of the first preformed band to pioneering and implementing Metal Injection Molding (MIM)

Technology for orthodontic use. RMO® has continued its drive for new technologies and new methods of manufacturing consistent, high quality Fixed Appliances. Today RMO® carries many different patented fixed appliance designs to capture all of the varying orthodontic treatment modalities from Brioprogressive to Straight Wire concepts and everything in-between.

RMO®, A Global Perspective
In 1933 RMO® was founded in Denver, Colorado and by the late 1930’s the first export orders were leaving the factory. This early awareness of the importance of international markets helped to shape the global vision of the company that continues today.

By the 1960’s RMO® had established a wholly owned subsidiary in France (RMO® France). This was followed very shortly thereafter by additional subsidiaries in Germany (RMO® Germany), Italy (RMO® Italy), Australia (RMO® Australia) and a joint venture company in Japan (RMMC – Rocky Mountain Morita Corporation).

Concurrently, independent dealers were being established in Asia, the Pacific Rim, Latin America, Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Africa. Martin Brusse, Martin Hamilton, Sam Bulkley and Frank Scanlon were key members of the RMO® team which initially developed the sales and marketing channels in these important markets. These worldwide relationships drive RMO® to continually be a global orthodontic leader in not only products but also orthodontic education.

Early on RMO® understood that its success in these countries depended on more than just selling top quality products at a fair price. There was also a need for education and the sharing of ideas related to orthodontic philosophies, new products and materials, and clinical applications. Many doctors from around the world attended courses given by the likes of Dr. Robert Ricketts, Dr. Carl Gugino, Dr. William Wilson and many others.

RMO®’s health care innovations have not gone unnoticed. RMO® was awarded the prestigious E Award for Excellence in Educational Marketing by two US presidents, and the company has received the Colorado Governor’s Award twice in its history for consistent excellence in exporting. These honors reflect RMO®’s status as a truly international company.

Into the Future

RMO® has lived a rich history and its legacy continues with a new management team in Denver, CO USA. Tony Zakhem, Chairman /CEO, and Jody Hardy, COO/President, will keep the fundamental principals of the Brusse legacy intact. RMO® will continue to manufacture its products in Denver, Colorado, USA and bring quality products and innovative product designs to orthodontists and patients.

RMO®’s worldwide partnerships also live a rich history. Recently Marc Mayer was appointed President of RMO® Europe. Marc has been involved in all aspects of the company’s operations. His hard work, loyalty and dedication have been fundamental to the success of RMO® Europe and Marc is well equipped to continue the proud and independent tradition of RMO® in the years ahead.

RMO® is proud of its heritage, history, and legacy and looks to forge new paths equally as rich in the global orthodontic market.