It is always fascinating to learn how things came to be, which is definitely the case with Broomfield Invisalign. As one of the latest advancements in orthodontics today, it is a great way teens and adults can get the results they need without the use of brackets. For those who need a simple dental alignment, Invisalign is the perfect solution. With more than five million customers, this latest advancement in orthodontics is a go-to way people are choosing to enhance their dental health. Learn a little bit about the history of Invisalign and where things are today.
Earliest Record of Orthodontics
Orthodontics dates back all the way to ancient Greece and Egypt! Historians that explored artifacts found Egyptian mummies wrapped crude metal bands around the teeth for alignment. Then also, when browsing through the writings of Greek philosopher Aristotle and physician Hippocrates, they discuss the need and various ways to potentially straighten crooked teeth.
Socrates, another Greek philosopher, wrote about Etruscan women, wearing gold bands after they died to preserve their fixed teeth. Those that were a part of the Etruscan civilization were wealthy people in what today would be the Tuscany area of Italy. Perhaps it was this wealth and power that allowed them to take advantage of the advancements of their time. The Etruscans used these gold bands to keep a person’s teeth preserved well into the afterlife.
Others tried using force to move teeth, often applying pressure with the fingers. While the concept was on track, they had to do work to think of a solution to use pressure to move teeth—then make the changes last.
Fast forward to the 1700s and orthodontia really took off. In the two centuries prior, people began to advance in dentistry, using molds and other techniques. This paved the way for orthodontics, which was introduced in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard. Fauchard was a surgeon from France that had really set so many standards in dentistry. From dentures to other alignment techniques, Fauchard paved the way. The “bandeau” was his orthodontic invention, which was a u-shaped piece of metal and wires placed in a person’s mouth that would fix alignment issues. In addition to the bandeau, Fauchard would take forceps to move crooked teeth into the proper position. From there, he maneuvered a way to tie them to the teeth around them to stay in place.
The first record of traditional braces, like we know today, was invented by Christophe-Francois Delebarre in 1819. He used wooden wedges to fix malocclusion, adding more space in between the teeth. This would be known as the “crib wire
A few years later, J.S. Gunnell delved into the use of pressure that had been studied and tested a century earlier. He made what was known as “occipital anchorage.” This orthodontic tool was essentially headgear. It attached to the jaw and provided pressure to move teeth into the desired position.
Two decades later, the book “The Dental Art” was published, sharing techniques including bands and knobs to manipulate teeth. This continued to advance once a type of rubber was invented in the late 1830s, which became perfect for this profession. Orthodontists began using rubber bands on brackets to achieve the results they wanted on patients.
In the 1880s, Edward Angle, dentist and professor, used his love and passion for this field to make broader advancements. In fact, many call him the father of modern orthodontics thanks to his work. It was Angle that created the term “malocclusion” to describe crowded teeth. He also created the form of traditional braces that we recognize today.
His work carried on and nearly a century later, the profession had got it! Through all of the hard work by their predecessors, orthodontics in the 1970s created a way to adhere to brackets on teeth and move them using wires. At the time, braces were put on inside the teeth, which were known as “lingual” braces. Many liked this option as they weren’t as obvious as they would be on the outside of the teeth.
These brackets were constructed of a variety of metals such as silver, gold, steel, and more. This was a much better solution that wood used in the past. In the 1980s, orthodontists discovered a solution for the glue to attach the braces on the front of the teeth.
Invention of Clear Aligners
In 1997, the next phase of orthodontics was born: Invisalign. Invisalign was invented by Zia Chisti, a Stanford orthodontic student. He himself had just finished wearing braces and received a removable retainer. As he thought about this retainer, was inspired to find a way to create a clear retainer that would actually fix alignment issues. This would be a much easier solution, especially for adults to be able to achieve results without wearing traditional braces.
He teamed up with fellow student Kelsey Wirth to come up with designs and ideas. The two partnered with two more people and Invisalign was made! They discovered that a series of clear aligners could do the same thing as braces, without many of the limitations of traditional braces.
To get to where things are today, Christi and the team used CAD models and 3D printers from computer labs on campus to develop the clear aligners. This allowed the group to be precise in the aligners. A year later, they had their invention approved by the FDA and Invisalign hit the market.
Clear aligners took off in the 2000s once many orthodontists were able to see the benefits of this system. Over the last couple decades, this invention has been solid. It has not required many advancements to be successful. Invisalign Teen also hit the market, giving the same advantages to teenagers.
Today, it’s easier than ever to achieve the results you are looking for. Straight teeth not only look great but have several health benefits, too. Don’t put off changes to your smile any longer. Schedule an appointment with Prentice Orthodontics today at 303-468-7722. We will help you determine the quickest and most efficient way to achieve successful results.