Humans have been concerned about the condition of their teeth for centuries. Even the ancient Egyptians found a way to correct tooth problems. Yet, it was not until centuries later that dentistry advanced. The first real indication of specialization in the field was when barbers no longer were considered the tooth extractor of choice. Yet, it was in the field of orthodontics that people truly began to see that dentistry was more than pulling out bad or broken teeth.
What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a branch of dental medicine that focuses on the oral concerns of the alignment of teeth and jaws. Practitioners concern themselves with the correction of teeth that are misaligned or crooked. They help their clients with such concerns as:
- Overbite (AKA buckteeth)
- Gaps or improper spacing
Orthodontics is not the newest form of dentistry in cities like Orlando, but technology has proven to make it one of the most advanced and specialized.
Orthodontics: Early History
Although the first College of Orthodontics was founded in 1901, various orthodontic work was producing positive results in the centuries prior. While the Greeks, Romans and deserve mention for their work at separating teeth spaced too closely together, these cultures are not considered the “Father of Orthodontics.” This prestigious role goes to not one, but several men whose work in the area was equally important. Among them were early 19th century dentists:
- Norman W. Kingsley (1829-1913) who wrote an influential book on the subject in 1880, – “Treatise on Oral Deformities.”
- John N. Farrar (1839-1913), the author of two volumes on the subject titled “A Treatise on the Irregularities of the Teeth and Their Corrections”.
Orthodontics in the 20th Century
In the 20th century, several advances were made in orthodontics. Edward H. Angle (1855-1930) an American, arrived at a method of classification used today. His system was not only influential on designating teeth but also supplied guidance in designing apparatuses. It was also under his leadership that the first association and college of orthodontics was founded in 1901. This was the American Society of Orthodontia. Six years later he started the first orthodontic journal. It was to evolve into the American Association of Orthodontics in the early 1930s.
At this time, braces were being made from a variety of metals and other materials. Wood and gum rubber joined gold, silver, steel and platinum to create the various ligatures and other devices that worked to hold teeth in place. Eventually, stainless steel took over as the main metal mouth. By the late 1950s, in Orlando and elsewhere across the United States, it was the metal of choice in orthodontics for braces.
By the end of the century, many other changes had arrived. Technology had begun to make a serious impact in the field. Direct bonding was now possible. The concept of self-litigating braces was also making it out of concept into reality. More importantly for those who disliked the old traditional metal mouth braces, the idea of invisible braces was no longer a dream.
Several types of so-called “invisible” braces have been popular in the final decades of the 20th century. Among them are:
- Lingual braces
- Ceramic braces and other forms of “tooth colored” brackets
These advances meant the profession of orthodontics ended the century on a high note.
Orthodontics of the Future
No one knows what the future will bring. Yet, with increasingly sophisticated approaches in orthodontics, the future looks bright for patients and practitioners. Continual advances in such things as metal technology are certain to provide orthodontists in Orlando and their clients something to smile about.
If you have any questions about the practice of Orthodontics Orlando, you need to contact the professional staff at Lach Orthodontic Specialists. We are there to listen to your questions and provide you with informed and knowledgeable answers. Our experienced staff will help you find solutions and options. To discover more about our practice and our services, contact us online at lach-ortho.com.