History of Orthodontics

Although orthodontic treatment in the modern sense has a history of 20-30 years, the idea that teeth can be moved is quite old. In 625 AD, Paulus Aegineta said that excess teeth can distort the shape of the tooth arch and this situation can be corrected by tooth extraction. When Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings are examined together with the Renaissance, it is seen that he made detailed studies on body proportions and used details such as lips, teeth, facial proportions and the size relationship of teeth to each other in his paintings. The proportional relations he put forward are known as the ‘Golden proportion’ (Divine proportion), which is used all over the world today. Scientists such as Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), Ambrose Paré (1517-1590), Gabriele Fallopio (1523-1562) also conducted studies on the anatomy and shape of teeth.

The foundation of orthodontics was announced by Pierre Fauchard in his books published in 1723 and 1728. Fauchard made the first orthodontic appliance in 1723 and observed simple tooth movements. In the following years, the devices became more and more advanced and more modern. Early extraction of milk teeth, which is one of the causes of orthodontic disorders, was examined by Adam A. Brunner (1737-1810) and he stated in his books that milk teeth should not be extracted unless they are a source of pain and infection and they do not cause serious distress to the patient. This rule is violated from time to time, even by dentists who have received scientific training under today’s conditions.

Surgical methods and distraction screws developed in recent years can be used in many cases ranging from simple bone shortness to various syndromes with complex facial disorders (such as Crouzon, Pierre Robin). Thanks to the collaboration of orthodontics and plastic surgery specialists, such complex treatments can now be performed easily.

Today, the point that orthodontics has reached includes treatments such as treatment with clear aligners (Invisalign, Orthoclear), skeletal anchor systems, orthognathic surgery in which skeletal disorders are corrected, and distraction osteogenesis. Recent developments continue unceasingly to make orthodontic treatment easier for the orthodontist and comfortable for the patient.

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