Tag Archives: Orthodontist

France Leads The Way For Orthodontics In The 1600s

orthodontic appliance

 

The middle ages (fifth to fifteenth century) also referred to as the dark ages, offered very little in the forward movement of dentistry and all science for that matter. It wasn’t until the late 16th century that dentistry started to show progress. In 1580 the first students of dentistry were admitted to a university in France. France remained the leader in the dental field for the next 150 years. In 1728 Pierre Fauchard a French physician published the first text on Orthodontia titled The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on the Teeth, with an entire chapter on ways to straighten teeth. Fauchard used a device called a “Bandeau” as shown above. This device was a horseshoe shaped piece of precious metal which helped expand the arch. Teeth were ligated (tied) to this appliance in order to improve their alignment.

The Bandeau appliance was improved upon by Ettienne Bourdet who was the dentist to the king of France in the mid 18h century. Not only did he make changes to the appliance, he also began placing the appliance on the back (tongue side) of the teeth. He also published a text called “The Dentist’s Art”. In this text he was the first to call for the extraction of teeth to alleviate crowding. Although several dentists in the earlier centuries had dabbled in the alignment of teeth it wasn’t until the 19th century that several individuals advanced the field of orthodontics with their inventions.

 

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History of Orthodontics

orthodontics-braces     orthodontist-braces-history

As far back as the ancient Egyptians, humans have had the desire for straight teeth. Archeologists have accumulated artifacts from preserved corpses and mummies that demonstrate the efforts of the ancient Egyptians to control and align teeth. The first evidence we have of people trying to straighten or align teeth is from 1,000 B.C. The Greeks and Etruscans attempted to push or pull teeth by wrapping metal bands and wires around them in hopes of improving their appearance. However, we have no way of knowing if these efforts were successful. It does show that dating back to ancient times, humans did understand the basic concept and ability of moving teeth with pressure over time.

Hippocrates and Aristotle even contemplated ways to align teeth, but it wasn’t until around the birth of Jesus Christ that the first recorded efforts to improve tooth alignment were discovered. Anulus Cornelius Celsus, a writer in the Roman Empire, prescribed the removal of milk (baby) teeth to help facilitate the eruption of the permanent teeth. He also prescribed finger pressure on a daily basis to the erupting permanent teeth to help assure their alignment. Gaius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, suggested instead of applying pressure to the teeth, that they be filed down to better align them with the surrounding teeth. This method was used for more than 1,200 years.

 

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