History of Orthodontics

DF3 Blog Post

As your trusted choice for orthodontics in and around Iowa City, Dr. Suzanne Stock and her orthodontic team aren’t just proud to offer you high-quality orthodontic treatments – we also want to provide you with top-notch orthodontic care. Whether it involves making sure that you receive a comfortable and efficient treatment process or even just a richer understanding of orthodontics, we’ll make sure to be there for every single one of your needs. If you happen to want to learn more about the history of orthodontics, we’d like to take this time to give you a brief overview of orthodontics over the years.

The Beginning of Orthodontics

While many of us think of orthodontics as a highly-technological procedure (and it is!), the truth is that orthodontics has actually been around for thousands of years! Archaeologists have discovered mummified remains in Egypt that had crude metal bands wrapped around their teeth. These bands were tied together with animal intestines called catgut. It’s strongly believed that they were used to close the gaps in their teeth. This is thought to be the first known case of orthodontics being used.

Major Advances Throughout the Years

Some of the more major advances that have been made in the orthodontic field over the years include the following:

  • In about 400 B.C., Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, was the first to write about tooth irregularities.
  • Approximately 400 years later, an ancient Roman, named Aulus Cornelius Celsus, had the first recorded attempt to move teeth by using finger pressure.
  • After nearly two millenniums of stalled research in orthodontics, the French dentist, Pierre Fauchard, published a book called “The Surgeon Dentist.” This book included an entire chapter based on orthodontics and the straightening of teeth. He used a new device known as a bandeau, a horseshoe-shaped piece of metal that helped expand the arch.
  • In 1757, Pierre Bourdet, dentist to the King of France, wrote a medical book, “The Dentist’s Art,” that improved upon Fauchard’s bandeau device and also was the first to include the theory that wisdom teeth could be removed to prevent crowding and other tooth irregularities.
  • In 1819, Christophe-Francois Delabarre invented the first wire crib. This was essentially an early model of braces; it was essentially the birth of contemporary orthodontics.
  • In the early 1900s, Edward Hartley Angle devised the first classification system for malocclusions, which is still used today.

Modern Orthodontics

Possibly the biggest advance in modern orthodontics (over the past 50-or-so years) was the way that braces were attached to teeth. Before the 1970s, the brackets of the braces were anchored to the teeth by having wires wrapped around each tooth. Nowadays, with the invention of dental adhesives, the brackets can be stuck to the surfaces of the teeth without a fear of them falling off.

One of the other major benefits of modern orthodontics was the creation of new and different types of orthodontic treatment outside of the traditional braces. Even traditional braces were improved as the wires are now made with stainless steel instead of gold or silver, giving them more manipulability and also making them more affordable. Another newer orthodontic treatment is Invisalign — plastic, removable aligners that shift your teeth.

Contact Your Iowa City Orthodontist Today!

If you happen to be in search of braces in Iowa City, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us. You can do so by filling out our online appointment request form or by giving us a call at (319) 338-8658. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We hope to hear from you soon!