The Dental Care Center

A Short History of Orthodontics

March 19, 2018
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Posted By: Dr. Peter Suh
Woman Wearing Braces | The Dental Care Center

Most people consider orthodontics to be a pretty modern invention that hasn’t been around all that long. It might come as a surprise that archeologists have found evidence of crude teeth straightening tools on Egyptian mummies. The ancient Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans had similar tools that were meant to put teeth into alignment.

Let’s take a look at how the devices and techniques of ancient times turned into the orthodontics we know of today—right down to Invisalign invisible braces your Van Nuys, CA dentist can offer.

Orthodontics During the 17th and 18th Centuries

The first bit of progress to be made in the field of orthodontics began in around the start of the 17th century with was first being used to make impressions. Plaster of Paris was used later.

Other development included an appliance called a bandeau, which was a horseshoe-shaped device that would go around the teeth to move them into a straighter position. Later, some tried to separate crowded teeth by forcing wooden wedges between them.

Orthodontics During the 19th Century

During this century, orthodontics was a bit less brutal when headgear was invented that used gentle pressure to put teeth into the proper alignment. The Dental Art, the first book on dentistry, outlined using bands and gold caps to improve the dental bite. The invention of vulcanized rubber (1839) launched the start of using rubber for oral appliances.

Orthodontics in the 20th Century and Beyond

Considered the “father” of modern orthodontics, Edward Hartley Angle began to design orthodontic appliances that actually worked in the 1880s.

By the 1970s, breakthroughs were made in the industry, including the invention of a dental adhesive that glued brackets to teeth, eliminating the need to run wires through the teeth. Stainless steel replaced gold and silver, meaning the cost of orthodontics went down considerably.

Today, patients have many options for orthodontics in Van Nuys, CA, including traditional braces and Invisalign invisible braces. Give our office a call today to find out more!

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