A brief history
The history of orthodontics goes further in history than you might expect. There is much evidence of tools and devices used to correct the alignment and position of the teeth thousands of years ago.
Archaeologists in Egypt uncovered the earliest evidence of orthodontics. Mummified bodies were discovered with metal bands wrapped around the teeth. It is believed that catgut – fiber made from animal intestines served the same purpose as orthodontic wires – helping the bands to close the gaps between the teeth.
The Etruscans – Roman predecessors were known to bury their dead with dental tools placed in their mouths to prevent the collapse of the teeth before reaching the afterlife. It was rarely used when they were alive, but its use portrayed an understanding of the importance of well-maintained and straight teeth.
Studies have shown that Roman citizens were also fascinated with the idea of adjusting uneven teeth. The body of a Roman was found in a tomb with teeth bound with gold wire. This is believed to be the earliest example of a ligature wire. A ligature wire is a connector that helps pull uneven teeth into the correct position.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus, a Roman philosopher and doctor, spent most of his life learning and practicing new medical procedures. He maintained detailed records of his studies. His records found the earliest attempt to straighten or realign teeth using finger pressure.
Aulus Celsus documented a case involving applying finger pressure to a patient’s teeth at regular intervals. Celsus observed that the teeth moved gradually and were repositioned thanks to the consistent exposure to finger pressure.
Moving on, the 17th century witnessed significant advances in dentistry. This, alongside substantial technological developments, facilitated the growth of orthodontics as a specialty.
Pierre Fauchard, an 18th-century French dentist, is the father of modern orthodontics. In 1728, Fauchard published a book called “Le Chirurgien Dentiste” (The Surgeon Dentist). In this book, Fauchard wrote methods for teeth straightening. Fauchard used a device known as a “bandeau” – a piece of iron with a horseshoe shape that helped expand a patient’s dental arch.
Louis Bourdet, another French dentist, followed up the work of Fauchard. Bourdet was a dentist to Louis XV and Louis XVI, both kings of France. Bourdet published a book in 1754 titled “The Dentist’s Art.” He wrote an entire chapter on tooth adjustment and realignment. Bourdet modernized the bandeau and is also the first dentist to recommend the extraction of premolar teeth to prevent overcrowding.
In the 19th century, orthodontics became established as a separate science, with many advancements in the field. For example, the wire crib was invented by Christophe-Francois Delabarre in 1819. The wire crib was a semi-circular device placed on the teeth to position them and is believed to be the starting point for contemporary orthodontics.
Orthodontic practitioners began including rubber in tooth correction devices in the 1800s. This century witnessed the development of rubber dental dams and gum elastics. In 1893, Henry A. Baker, an American dentist, devised the “Baker anchorage.” This was a combination of gum elastics and wire crib concepts. With Baker’s method, it became possible to realign the teeth without removing several teeth.
The advancement of orthodontic treatment became more pronounced in the 19th century with the discovery of x-rays. Eugene S. Talbot, a dentist, became the first to include x-rays as a component of orthodontic procedures. He used this process to discover impacted teeth. Talbot recommended that these teeth be removed to prevent overcrowding in the patient’s mouth.
These advancements heralded the invention of braces at the start of the 20th century. This would be the first time that the term “braces” would describe an orthodontic device. This development led to a fascinating period in the period of orthodontics.
Beginning from the 1970s, development in braces has been so fast, advanced, and dramatic that one could write an article about it ten times as long as this. Imagine telling the ancient Romans or Egyptians or even dentists of the 19th century that we have invisible braces that can straighten a person’s teeth within six months. What do you think would be their reaction?
About clear aligners
Clear aligners are also known as invisible aligners. They are a kind of orthodontic treatment that helps correct crooked or misaligned teeth. They are invisible alternatives to braces. They are removable and are designed for flexibility and convenience.
Clear aligners are custom-made. How they are produced depends on the severity of the misalignment.
In-office clear aligners, like Beam Clear Aligners, can treat a wide range of cases, such as:
- Crowded teeth
- Open bites
- Misaligned baby teeth
How do clear aligners work?
It begins with the creation of a custom treatment plan
Your teeth will be examined, and a digital scan of your mouth will be produced. After that, a custom treatment plan is designed.
You’ll get a digital preview of your new dental look before the aligners are made.
Preparation of clear aligner
After taking your teeth impressions, your custom treatment plan will be made with 3D technology. Once the digital models are approved, they are transferred to a facility where the aligners are produced.
Each aligner tray should be changed out every 1 – 2 weeks. For effective straightening, use your aligners for at least 20 – 22 hours daily.
Beam clear aligners
Beam clear aligners make dental care accessible and cheap to every Australian. This is your chance to get an affordable solution for straightening your teeth and having a better smile.