Orthodontics is a complex dental discipline with many features and tools, but as you sit there having your braces installed or brackets placed on your teeth, you may be asking yourself “how did this all begin?”
Let’s take a brief look at the history of orthodontics.
Ancient Dental Solutions
Dental problems and concerns have been a part of human history for more than 50,000 years. The earliest examples of braces can be traced back to Ancient Egypt where strips of metal were used to hold teeth in place and mimic any missing ones.
These problems would still plague societies all over the world, with Greek writers like Hippocrates recording the need for proper dental care and solutions for crooked teeth.
Interestingly, one of the earliest examples of braces found in Italian tombs from around the 5th century BCE were actually installed to preserve a person’s teeth positioning after they died!
The Beginning of Braces
Dental solutions didn’t really advance for more than 1,000 years after the end of the Roman period, but that all changed during the 17th and 18th centuries when scientific advancements began developing rapidly and eventually lead to the start of dentistry as we know it.
The two figures who most notably revolutionized dental technology were Matthaeus Gottfried Purmann and Pierre Fauchard, with Purmann being the first person to make molds of a person’s mouth using wax. Fauchard created a mouthguard-like “bandeau” which was placed over the teeth to stretch them out, and he also wrote a book called “The Surgeon Dentist.”
Finally, orthodontics as we know it came into being during the 1900s when it started being recognized as its own discipline and not just an aspect of surgery.
A major development from this period that impacted how we operate today came from Edward H. Angle founding the American Association of Orthodontists. Angle believed in moving away from tooth extraction as the sole solution to dental pain.
The world of orthodontics today is more advanced than those pioneers could have ever dreamed of, and we’re still finding new ways to give our patients the smiles they’ve always wanted. Give our orthodontic experts a call today at (614) 763-6289 or visit us online and see the many ways we’re revolutionizing our patient care options.