Science is all around us. So when we think about how modern life makes our life comfortable, it is almost inevitable to think about how things were in the past.
For instance, can you imagine how people struggled to travel miles and miles, riding horses to cross nations? and now we have cars and planes, or how they managed to warm their households during winter?
We try to imagine how it was for medieval societies to live before significant technological advancements. For instance, what would a person do if she had a toothache? Or what did they know about orthodontics?
Despite the many questions, something is clear. As sciences started to emerge, dentists began understanding the principles of physics and adjusted them to the human body.
The History Of Braces
This article reviews the historical evolution of orthodontic treatment from ancient times to today. We review primitive forms for moving teeth to the advanced technological treatments available, like Invisalign.
The Ancient Egyptian Civilization
We have transited a long way to get crooked teeth finally getting aligned. Summing up, from the first intent in Ancient Egypt to finally getting crooked teeth aligned in the seventies, lessening the hassle for patients, passed more than 3500 years.
The Egyptian civilization lasted approximately from 3100 B.C. until a Roman Emperor, Alexander the Great, conquered them in 300 B.C. It is just a matter of looking at the pyramids to find out how they had a precise sense of symmetry.
Also, the Egyptians made cords out of animal skin called the catgut that they used to wrap teeth in one of the first attempts to correct spaced teeth, and we would have to give them credit for that.
The Etruscans And The Afterlife Ritual
The Etruscans were a culture that lived in what we now know as Italy around 1000 B.C. and, during the Roman Empire age, acquired Roman citizenship.
The Etruscans practiced rituals preparing the dead for the afterlife. Furthermore, culturally, Etruscans fabricated figurines representing the dead on top of a sarcophagus lid, meaning the transcending body to a new dimension.
The Etruscan also created an embryonic form of mouth guard made of gold to protect the deceased teeth from falling. They believed that having all teeth together would help the defunct remain beautiful before entering the afterlife.
A First Methodological Attempt To Straighten Teeth
When we think of science, Romans were ingenious people who developed many things further developed later, like irrigation systems, law, and splendid architecture.
However, back to the orthodontic discussion, a Roman erudite, Aulus Cornelius Celsus, methodologically documented what we can call the first logical attempt to move teeth.
Aulus Cornelius used his finger to consistently apply gentle pressure over a tooth he wanted to move and documented his findings. Unfortunately, tracing them back with accuracy is problematic regardless of his efforts.
However, archeologists found several pieces of something known as a dental ligature made with a gold wire installed in the teeth of the buried, in what someone could theorize was an extension of Aulus Cornelius Celsus’s findings or maybe a continuation of burial rituals.
After the fall of the Roman empire and the advent of the dark ages, there were insignificant advancements in sciences, including dental.
A First Scientific Approach to Orthodontics
A conglomerate of events occurred during the 17th and 18th centuries; it was like the world woke up from an era of darkness. The Renaissance marked the path for several events that imprinted a seal on today’s dental and orthodontic advancements.
A French dentist Pierre Fauchard wrote a book named The Surgeon Dentist, describing his modern-for-the-age procedures to straighten teeth. Also, he invented a type of mouthguard called the bandeau, a mouthguard that resembled a horseshoe-shaped piece made of gold to correct separated teeth and keep them straight.
Following Fauchard’s steps, Pierre Bourdet sought to improve his colleague’s findings concluding that extracting third molars (wisdom teeth), along with Fauchard’s bandeau, would upgrade its application. Bourdet compiled his findings in the book titled “The Dentist’s Art.”
The American Tradition – Academics Meets Orthodontics
Before moving to the American continent, in 1819, a talented dentist Christophe-Francois Delabarre created the first device of what we know today as orthodontic braces.
Continuing with the development of orthodontic literature, artifacts, and science, in the 19th century, we list some of the most insightful facts and orthodontic devices of the age:
The Wire Crib
As its name implies, the wire crib was a device installed in sets of two teeth to keep them in their proper position.
Elastic Bands (Rubber Bands)
Charles Goodyear discovered a method to vulcanize rubber; this invention later served in orthodontics.
In 1843, an American dentist Dr. Edward Maynard, introduced rubber elastics to the wire crib to modernize the invention and align the jaw into a correct position.
An improvement of Maynard’s invention by E.J. Tucker followed, who reengineered the rubber use of bands, making the system comfortable for patients with overcrowded teeth.
The Dental Dam
In 1864, Dr. S.C. Barnum invented a practical device for dental and orthodontic applications during the treatment of teeth and the installation of braces named the dental dam.
The dental dam evolved and is now made of dentistry-quality latex and serves to protect the gummy tissue during interventions.
Combined Techniques For Optimal Results
As with many developments, there is always a chance for improvement. In this sense, Henry A. Baker successfully managed the removal of denture pieces with other applications and techniques, modernizing the braces and preventing unnecessary molar extractions.
The Birth of Modern Orthodontic Braces
The term braces spread in the orthodontic discipline in the early 20th century, despite its first appearance, thanks to Delabarre in 1819. During the first part of the 20th century, the bracket bonding technique was inexistent, and braces consisted of a gold band or wire wrapped around the teeth.
We finally arrived in the seventies, and the traumatic experiences carried on for hundreds of years finally lessened for patients with contemporary orthodontics. Albany Orthodontic specialists incorporated stainless steel metal and dental grade bondings to the Albany orthodontic treatment with braces, and yes, you figured it out. With subtle changes and intuitive innovations, such as lingual braces cemented at the rear of teeth, the seventies stainless-steel metal braces are the same appliances we see today.
Orthodontics Beyond Modern Braces – The Age of the Invisible
We thank you, Zia Chishti, for figuring out what nobody found before. It seems a joke, but its reality, the revolutionary Invisalign Clear Aligners were born from a patient with no orthodontic background.
The story begins when Zia Chishti, A Stanford graduate using retainers, skipped using them and noticed his teeth moving back to their unwanted crooked position. As he immediately resumed using his retainers, his teeth aligned again.
In 1997, he partnered with another Stanford graduate, Kelsey Wirth, and introduced 3D modeling to record staged teeth displacements in patients, developing plastic appliances that converted into aligner trays that were assigned a number accordingly.
In 2000, after three years of research, Chishti and Kelsey finally launched the Invisalign system as we know it today, a simple, hassle-free, comfortable, and almost invisible system of plastic aligners that revolutionized the orthodontic industry.
What Are the Orthodontic Braces We Have Today?
After a long journey of discovering orthodontics evolution and the braces invention, we now bring you a detail of the types of braces and clear aligners with the latest technology for straightening teeth.
Traditional Metal Braces
They remain the most reliable orthodontic mechanism for treating severe malocclusions. Traditional metal braces are a common orthodontic treatment popular due to their effectiveness in correcting dental misalignments and bite issues.
They consist of several components, including metal brackets, archwires, and elastic bands. These conventional braces work by applying gentle pressure to move the teeth into the correct alignment.
What is The Process For Getting Braces?
When you first get metal braces, the orthodontist will affix the brackets onto your teeth using special dental cement. The archwire is then threaded through the brackets and secured with small elastic bands.
The wire exerts pressure on the teeth, guiding them into alignment over time. The elastic bands, which come in various colors, hold the wire in place on the brackets.
Initially, you may experience some discomfort or soreness as your mouth adjusts to the braces. It’s normal. You might feel pressure on your teeth for a few days after each adjustment, and it will cease as the teeth move.
Adjustments usually occur every 3 to six weeks. You may also notice slight changes in your speech and eating habits at the beginning, but these improve as you get used to the braces.
What Are The Instructions and Restrictions for Patients With Braces?
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial with metal braces. You’ll need to brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal and floss daily to remove any food particles trapped around the brackets and wires.
Scheduling professional cleaning regularly is essential to avoid plaque buildup, enamel damage, and, of course, tooth decay. Your dietary habits also play a fundamental role in this matter.
While wearing metal braces, you should avoid certain foods that can damage the brackets or wires, such as sticky candies, hard nuts, and chewing gum.
It’s also advisable to limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods, as they can contribute to tooth decay and enamel erosion.
What Can Patients Expect From Treatment With Braces?
The duration of treatment with traditional braces varies depending on the severity of each case, but it generally ranges from one to three years.
Once your teeth are properly aligned, the orthodontist will remove the braces, and you will start wearing a retainer to maintain the new position of your teeth.
Conventional metal braces are a reliable and effective orthodontic treatment option. They can correct a wide range of dental issues and provide you with a straighter, healthier smile.
You can find the same outstanding characteristics of roughness and efficiency of stainless steel conventional braces with a personal touch that goes with your personality.
Gold metal braces are a unique variation of traditional metal braces that offer some distinct characteristics.
These braces function in the same way as traditional braces, but they have a gold-colored coating on the brackets, giving them an aesthetically appealing appearance. One of the key advantages of gold metal braces is their enhanced aesthetic appeal compared to regular metal braces.
The gold color provides a warmer, more subtle look, which can be particularly appealing to individuals who want a more discreet orthodontic option.
Are Gold Metal Braces the Same as Conventional Braces?
Similar to traditional braces, gold metal braces consist of metal brackets, archwires, and elastic bands. The mechanics are the same, meaning this type of brace moves teeth as efficiently as the conventional ones.
They provide effective orthodontic treatment while adding a touch of sophistication.
The treatment duration for gold metal braces varies depending on individual cases, but the average length ranges from one to three years. After the active treatment process, wearing a retainer is also mandatory in this case.
Food restrictions for gold metal braces and traditional metal braces are the same.
Albany Clear ceramic braces are another popular alternative to traditional metal braces that offer a more discreet orthodontic treatment plan.
The material for these braces is a transparent or tooth-colored ceramic that blends in with the natural bone color of your teeth, making them a lot less noticeable.
One of the main advantages of clear ceramic braces is their cosmetic appeal. The rest of the procedure is the same as with other types of orthodontic braces.
Sadly, mild to moderate discomfort is still part of the treatment with this alternative, as well as the food restrictions. The bright side of this is that the similarities include high efficiency.
Clear Aligners (Invisalign)
Invisalign is the leader in invisible aligners technology that revolutionized the world of orthodontics.
What Are Clear Aligners?
Albany Clear aligners are a popular orthodontic treatment option that offers a virtually invisible and removable alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign creates its aligners from a clear, BPA-free plastic material.
Each Invisalign tray is custom-designed to fit snugly over your teeth, gradually shifting them into their desired positions.
How Is the Treatment Process for Clear Aligners?
When you choose clear aligners as your Richmond orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will create a personalized treatment plan using advanced 3D imaging technology.
Patients are supposed to wear each aligner mold from the series for about two weeks before progressing to the next set. The mechanics Invisalign uses to shift your teeth follow the same principle as metal braces.
Special Benefits of Clear Aligners Treatment
For orthodontic patients, one of the primary advantages of Invisalign clear aligners is their almost invisible appearance. The transparent material allows your natural tooth color to show through.
But clear aligners have many other significant advantages. Wearing clear aligners is generally comfortable, with minimal discomfort.
You may feel the initial pressure or tightness, but the smooth surface prevents ulcerations in your gums or lips.
After starting Invisalign treatment, patients love the removability factor. You can take them out while eating, allowing you to enjoy a broader range of foods.
However, you should only take your aligners off to eat and for hygiene purposes since the recommended wear time goes from 20 to 22 hours a day to ensure effectiveness.
Are Clear Aligners Faster than Braces?
The duration of clear aligners treatment typically ranges from several months (at least six) to a year or more, depending on each particular case. Regular in-person check-ups are necessary.
At Estes Orthodontics, We Provide the Best Orthodontics in Richmond
We have all kinds of orthodontic treatments, from ceramic braces (Albany) and Invisalign braces (Albany) to the best braces price in Richmond.
The search for an “orthodontist near me” has ended; set your appointment today!