OrthodonticsAlthough teeth straightening and extraction to improve alignment of remaining teeth has been practiced since early times, orthodontics as a science of its own did not really exits until the 1880s. The history of dental braces or the science of orthodontics is very complex. Many different inventors helped to create braces, as we know them today.
In 1728, Pierre Fauchard published a book called the "The Surgeon Dentist" with an entire chapter on ways to straighten teeth. In 1957, the French dentist Bourdet wrote a book called "The Dentist's Art". It also had a chapter on tooth alignment and using appliances in the mouth. These books were the first important references to the new dental science of orthodontics.
Historians claim that two different men deserve the title of being called "The Father of Orthodontics." One man was Norman W. Kingsley, a dentist, writer, artist, and sculptor, who wrote his "Treatise on Oral Deformities" in 1880. What Kingsley wrote influenced the new dental science greatly. The second man who deserves credit was a dentist named J. N. Farrar who wrote two volumes entitled "A Treatise on the Irregularities of the Teeth and Their Corrections". Farrar was very good at designing brace appliances, and he was the first to suggest the use of mild force at timed intervals to move teeth.
Edward H. Angle (1855-1930) devised the first simple classification system for malocclusions, which is still in use today. His classification system was a way for dentists to describe how crooked teeth are, what way teeth are pointing, and how teeth fit together. In 1901, Angle started the first school of orthodontics.
In 1864, Dr. S.C. Barnum of New York invented the rubber dam.
Eugene Solomon Talbot's (1847-1924) was the first person to use X-rays for orthodontic diagnosis.
Calvin S. Case was the first person to use rubber elastics with braces.