The Father of Orthodontics

Father of Orthodontics

Edward Hartley Angle


Many individuals have made contributions to the field of orthodontics but one individual stands above the rest when considering who has had the greatest influence in this field of study. Edward H. Angle is thought to be “The Father of Orthodontics”. In 1887 he published the first classification of bite abnormalities in his “Notes on Orthodontia” with occlusion being his primary focus on diagnosis. His classification was dependent on the position of the maxillary first molar in relation to the mandibular first molar. This classification system is still used today (Class I, Class II, Class III). This classification allowed dentists to describe how misaligned teeth are aligned, what way teeth are pointing, and how they fit together.

In 1899 he established the first school of orthodontics in St. Louis. He introduced photography into orthodontics, organized the beginnings of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) and founded the first orthodontic journal in 1907. He is credited with making many recommendations and changes to the first orthodontic appliances used in the United States. He also played a part in the first specialty board in dentistry. In 1929 the American Board of Orthodontics was established.

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