Straithen thees more Comfortably
History of clear aligners
In 1945 an American orthodontist by the name of Harold D Kesling invented a removable custom-designed appliance that looked and functioned similarly to a mouth guard. Made of rubber and worn on both teeth quadrants, the ‘tooth positioner’ as it was known, was really the first non-metal, removable device for straightening teeth. Used in conjunction with traditional braces, it sped up the process and is considered the frontrunner of what we know today as clear aligners.
By the mid-1960’s researchers started to document the success of so-called ‘one-piece plastic splints’ which by this time were now being used to make minor teeth corrections. While they were still a million miles from the sleek, sophisticated clear teeth aligners we know today, they were by the mid-1970’s, recognized as a form of orthodontic treatment and became more and more widespread.
By the 1980’s plastic was replaced by silicon. Known as Elastomer Devices, they were a huge breakthrough because, for the first time, tooth movements of up to 3mm could be achieved using a single Elasto appliance
In 1993, American orthodontist, John Sheridan devised the Essix retainer which is still in use today. It was, in fact, the first true clear aligner system. Now, it was not only possible to make custom adjustments in the lab, but splints could also be tweaked individually in order to induce varying tooth movement by inserting small pins. the term Essix is an acronym for S -Six or Sheridan’s Simple System.
While the Essix retainer continues to experience some success, it can only move teeth a limited distance and as such was/is predominantly used for minor corrections of the front teeth
In 1997 two Stanford University students, Zia Chishti and Kelsey Worth, invented the world’s first complete clear aligner system. Known as Invisalign, the concept involved a series of removable clear plastic aligners aimed at adults seeking discreet orthodontic treatment.