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Orthodontics

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is the dental specialty that includes the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and correction of malocclusion, as well as neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the developing or mature orofacial structures.

The irregular position of teeth has been a problem for some individuals since the beginning of time. Attempts to correct this disorder go back to at least 1000 BC.

1850 AD  - The first texts which systematically described orthodontics appeared. Dr. Norman Kingsley was among the first to use extraoral force to correct protruding teeth. The emphasis of this era was to correct facial proportions via extraction of teeth. Very few people of this time had a complete set of teeth. Little attention was given to how teeth bite together (occlude).

1890's AD  - Advancements were being made in the replacement of teeth with artificial ones and the development of how these teeth should bite together. Dr. Edward Angle, "The Father of Modern Orthodontics," was one of the first to emphasize occlusion in the natural dentition. His interest in creating proper occlusion in natural teeth created the specialty of Orthodontics. The publication of Angle's Classification of Malocclusion not only subdivided major types of malocclusion, it also included the first clear concept of normal occlusion in the natural dentition. (highlighted area will take you to 1C)

1900's AD  - With a concept of normal occlusion established by Angle, Orthodontics began to evolve into the treatment of malocclusion and not just the straightening of teeth.

1930's AD  - Esthetics associated with malocclusion were reemphasized and extractions to improved facial proportions were reintroduced into Orthodontics. This improvement in esthetic proportions allowed for a more stable occlusal relationship.

1940's AD  - Cephalometric radiographs were developed which allowed the orthodontist to see how the bones of the face contributed to malocclusion. With this technology, it was discovered that one could alter the growth of bones in growing individuals and prevent malocclusion by redirecting growth.

1970's AD  - Surgical techniques developed which allowed oral surgeons to perform surgery on patients who did not have the ability to grow any longer. Now bony causes of malocclusion in adults could be treated.

Today, orthodontics uses a combination of extraoral forces to align teeth as well as growth modification, surgery and extractions to accomplish three goals:

  • Create the best occlusal relationship

        Create acceptable facial esthetics

  • Create a stable occlusal result
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