Advances in orthodontics

Prim Dent Care. 2002 Jan;9(1):5-8. doi: 10.1308/135576102322547458.


There has been tremendous progress in orthodontics since Edward Angle first popularised the fixed orthodontic appliance at the turn of the century. Recent years have seen an increased demand for orthodontic treatment from both adolescents and adults and, in addition, patient and clinician expectations of treatment outcomes continue to rise. A desire for more aesthetic materials has resulted in both smaller and 'tooth-coloured' appliances. Improvements in technology, often outside orthodontics, have also led to the development of new materials. The best example of this was the development of nickel titanium alloy by the NASA space programme, which was subsequently adapted for use in nickel titanium archwires. Other technological advances adopted for use in orthodontics include magnets, computerised imaging systems and distraction osteogenesis. This review paper looks at some of the innovations in the fields of materials as well as in techniques and appliance systems.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Orthodontic Appliance Design
  • Orthodontic Appliances
  • Orthodontics / trends*
  • Technology, Dental / trends