A Brief History of Orthodontics


Origins of today’s orthodontics extend back to the dental practices of ancient times. References to correcting irregularities of the teeth can be found in the medical writings of ancient Rome and Greece.

However, it wasn’t until about 1830 that a French dentist named Lefoulan began to call his work with crooked teeth “orthodontisie.” About the time of the Civil War, appliances used to move teeth were becoming more refined, but worked

simply on individual teeth… there was no attempt to treat the dental arch as a unit.

Sometime around 1880 a system for classifying cases and terminology for diagnosing them was developed by Dr. Edward Angle. Dr. Angle is generally considered the father of modern orthodontics. In 1899 he founded a school in St. Louis, Missouri, to teach orthodontics. A few years later Angle and others founded the American Society of Orthodontists, which later became known as the American Association of Orthodontists.

By the mid-1920’s major colleges and universities offered advanced training in orthodontics.

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