The History of Orthodontics

Orthodontics has been around since the beginning of time! Actually, historians claim that Hippocrates and Aristotle envisioned tactics to straighten teeth or repair different dental conditions, but the earliest findings of orthodontics date back to the ancient Egyptians. So, although we can’t say that orthodontics has been around since the beginning of time, we do know that people have been straightening teeth and enhancing their facial structure with a form of orthodontics for quite a while!

In The Beginning…

The earliest form of braces was discovered in tombs belonging to the Etruscans, a civilization based in Italy that flourished before the Romans. Archeologists found several human remains with teeth that were wrapped in metal bands, gold wires or catgut (a natural fiber that was made of animal intestines) in a way that resembles today’s orthodontic braces. During that time, gold was a very common material to use because it didn’t rust, but if a person couldn’t afford it, silver was the next best material.

The Father Of Orthodontics

In 1728, French dentist Pierre Fauchard published a book that focused on the methods of straightening teeth entitled “The Surgeon Dentist.” He also introduced the first device designed to expand the dental arch. Later, another French dentist, Louis Bourdet, became the first dentist to advocate premolar teeth extractions to allow room for the jaw to grow and avoid crowding. So although orthodontics can be dated back to the ancient times, it is safe to say that what most of us would consider “modern orthodontics” was not developed as an actual science until the mid 19th century.

The Birth Of Modern Orthodontics

During the 19th century, Norman Kingsley published the first article on orthodontics. Years later, J.N. Farrar became the first dentist to suggest using mild force at time intervals to move teeth. The wire crib, which very much resembles today braces, was invented by Christophe-Francois Delabarre in 1819 and after, dentists in Europe and the United States introduced new tools to help make “the science of straight teeth” more effective and efficient.

During the 20th century, Edward Angle was the first to classify irregularities in an individual’s bite. This system became one of the building blocks that is still present in today’s orthodontic foundation and is still used by orthodontists to determine the degree of crookedness in teeth, how they fit together, and the orientation of teeth. He enhanced many of the dental devices of his time and founded the first school for orthodontics. Also, Angle organized the American Society of Orthodontia, which later became the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO).

Orthodontics Today

Orthodontic technology has become more comfortable and effective in our era. As an established and trusted orthodontic care provider serving Reno and Sparks, you can be certain Dr. Phillips’ approach to straightening teeth is light years ahead of what used to pass for orthodontic treatment. From Invisalign to our use of AcceleDent, we evaluate new technologies to confirm their effectiveness before we treat individual patients. Keeping our patients’ best interests in mind while vetting new technologies is what has kept our patients happy and what delivers the best results for people of all ages. No matter what decade it is, this has been our recipe for success!