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Advances in Orthodontics: Then & Now

Braces are so standard today that they seem to be an initiation into young adulthood for most adolescents. But, fixing teeth is not a new process by any means. In fact, braces date back to antiquity. Hippocrates and Aristotle both philosophized about straightening teeth and repairing dental conditions as far back as 400-300 B.C. Also, mummified bodies have been discovered with metal bands wrapped around their teeth. Sound familiar?

Throughout the centuries, knowledge on oral physiology and health have improved dramatically, thus allowing dentistry and orthodontics to evolve into their most advanced forms yet; however, the 20th century and the last two decades have made the most significant strides in orthodontics. As a leading full-mouth dental implants provider in Mercer County, NJ, we at Hamilton Dental are fascinated by orthodontic history and are happy to bring you along to examine some of the excellent advancements in orthodontic treatments.

They Look Better

If you are young, ask your parents about their braces (or their friends) – we’re sure they would have a few things to say! If you are the parents, then you know what we’re talking about! In the past, braces were almost always made of stainless steel. What’s more, until the 1970s the metal had to be wrapped around each tooth! Talk about “metal mouth.”

Today, metal braces are still the most common form, but other, more aesthetic options have become available, including ceramic braces with tooth-colored brackets for a bit more camouflage, lingual braces, which are applied to the back of the teeth for full incognito, and “clear” aligners for smaller alignments.

Less Painful & More Effective

Stainless steel is a relatively inexpensive material that has been the metal of choice of orthodontists. Unfortunately, stainless steel stretches and requires more frequent wire tightenings and replacements.

Now, more and more orthodontists have moved to nickel- and copper-titanium for their arch wires. These metal alloys are very sensitive to the warm temperatures in the mouth, which causes them to tighten on their own. Fewer appointments = less pain.

Advanced | Affordable | Convenient 

Braces today are far more advanced than the headgear of the 70s – they can target many different oral conditions, and they are not too bad to look at anymore.

For minor alignments, removable appliances are a great choice. They are less noticeable and can even be removed for meals and daily cleanings. With unlimited colors and varieties, they are their own fashion statements.

  • Braces are more affordable than those in the past. For most patients, braces cost, on average, $5000-$6000. In the 60s, the average cost was $2000 – due to inflation, that amount is actually worth over $17000.
  • Excellent orthodontic care is only a short drive away.

At Hamilton Dental, we use only the most effective procedures and materials available for the comfort and wellness of our patients. If you require braces or other treatments, including the best single-tooth implants in Mercer County, NJ, then give us a call, and set up an appointment today!