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orthodontic technology

Close-up view of metal brackets and wires on teeth

It’s the year 2018 and a lot has changed in every field of medicine since the year 2000. Orthodontics is no exception, and there are always new advances in how your teeth are straightened and cared for. There are many braces options available to patients that were not available in years past. However, some services—such as Invisalign—have been around longer than you might think. Find out when different orthodontic practices and services were available to patients and how orthodontic treatment looked before the year 2000.


How Old Is Orthodontic Treatment?

Many people think that orthodontic treatment is fairly new. However, people have been straightening their teeth for many centuries. Their methods were simply much cruder than the braces and orthodontic appliances you know today. Many mummies from Ancient Egypt have been found wearing orthodontic appliances to straighten their teeth. Ancient Greeks, Romans and the Etruscans have also been found with various types of “braces” and other mouth appliances.


To give you an idea of how long orthodontic treatment has been around, writings by Hippocrates (a Greek physician) have been found about the subject from 400 b.c. Even back then people were concerned about crooked teeth and how they looked. However, there weren’t very good methods for straightening the teeth, so there weren’t many advances in orthodontics until just a few centuries and decades ago.


Woman smiling and holding her Invisalign aligners

Past Orthodontic Methods

People centuries ago did not have the best methods for straightening teeth. However, over the centuries, many people made advances or tried various methods such as the following:

  • Ancient Egyptians used metal parts and wires to try to straighten the teeth, as has been seen on mummies.
  • Celsus, a Roman writer from around 1 A.D., wrote about trying to straighten your teeth by pushing them into place.
  • Several years later, a Roman named Pliny recommended filing your teeth down if you wanted them a certain size.
  • Pierre Fauchard was born in 1728, and through his various methods and research in straightening teeth, is now considered the “Father of Dentistry”. One of the methods he tried on patients was forcefully pulling and moving the teeth into place with forceps. He would then tie those moved teeth to others so they could heal back into the mouth again.
  • Dental impressions began in the 17th century by Matthaeus Gottfried Purmann. Impressions make models of the teeth, and this method was so successful that impressions are still used today.
  • In the United States, barbers and medical doctors often pulled infected teeth and performed orthodontic treatment. The treatment varied from person to person and generally involved pulling teeth without numbing medicine.
  • J.S. Gunnell invented a form of headgear in 1822 that was successful in straightening the teeth. However, that headgear was large and fastened to the jaw outside the mouth and pushed on the teeth.
  • Before 1970, professionals in orthodontics wrapped wires around each tooth, anchoring them with a bracket on each tooth. This method required a lot of metal in the mouth.


Two young boys that both have braces on their teeth

Modern Braces and Appliances

Modern orthodontic treatment is very straightforward and easy. Orthodontics has advanced so much that people can even straighten their teeth without any visible signs that they are doing so. When you think of braces, you probably think of the metal brackets and wires that so many wear. Traditional metal braces consist of a metal bracket attached to each tooth with a metal wire going through the bracket. This orthodontic treatment method mimics past metal treatments that were done throughout the centuries. However, the brackets and wires take up minimal space in the mouth and gently straighten the teeth.


Ceramic braces are another modern option for patients that are most similar to metal braces. They involve the same look and design, except they are made from white, ceramic material. Even the archwire can be made white for a patient. Lingual braces also use a metal bracket and wire design, except that they are attached to the back of a patient’s teeth. These were created in 1976 and provided patients with a way to straighten their teeth without visible brackets on their teeth.


Invisalign is the most incognito way to straighten your teeth. Created in 1997, this orthodontic treatment consists of transparent aligners that are switched out each week. A patient will wear the aligners 20-22 hours a day with the freedom to remove them for eating, drinking, sports, playing instruments and more. In about the same time as traditional metal braces (sometimes less), patients can get straight teeth. This is an amazing option, as any teen or adult can straighten their teeth without others knowing.


Orthodontic Treatment Today

Many advances in dentistry happened around 1970 and later. This is when the design of metal braces was perfected to what we know it to be now. The future will surely hold many more advances in orthodontic treatment as the years go by. No matter what type of appliance is available or what you choose to have, we recommend straightening your teeth. Not only can it significantly reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease, but straighter teeth can raise your confidence and help you be more successful. To have your free braces consultation, call Belmar Orthodontics today at (303) 225-9016!


Orthodontic Technology
There never was a better time for orthodontics and orthodontic technology.  We are living in a century of amazing innovations and advances. This truly is a New Age of Braces. Treatment today is quicker, more precise, more efficient, more convenient, and more patient-friendly.  Watch your smile transform before your eyes, but decide if you want anyone else to see the apparatus behind it all!
Invisalign, Incognito, and Clear Ceramic Braces are today’s braces of choice! Learn what treatment option is best for you.


Dedicated to the Best Orthodontic Technology of Today

Belmar Orthodontics invests in your current and long-term health with the best orthodontic technology out there. Here are just a few of the amazing products that we provide:


InvisalignInvisalign Lakewood

Invisalign® clear, removable aligners straighten your smile–invisibly.  Hesitating to have orthodontic treatment because you don’t want to deal with metal brackets and wires in your mouth? Invisalign gives you a metal-free option. Gradually move your teeth into their proper position, or correct malocclusion (bites that don’t close correctly), without the discomfort and presence of metal braces.  


Invisalign Teen™

For some teenagers, the process of straightening their teeth with traditional metal braces can make eating, speaking, and maintaining clean teeth challenging which is why Invisalign Teen has become the choice of so many.  


Incognito Braces LakewoodIncognito™

With Incognito™Lingual Braces, with 3M technology, you can achieve the same results as traditional braces with a hidden treatment apparatus on the tongue-side of your teeth.  Lingual braces can achieve the same results as traditional orthodontics in a manner that is inconspicuous and undetectable.  By discreetly attaching the braces to the back of the teeth, we can help you achieve healthy, straight, beautiful-looking teeth.  With lingual braces, you don’t have to choose between having the orthodontic treatment you need or putting it off due to aesthetic concerns.  


Temporary Anchorage Devices

Temporary Anchorage Devices, also known as TADs, are used in some orthodontic cases to help shift the teeth into a straighter position when braces can’t do it on their own, resulting in much more efficient treatment.  Combined with braces, the titanium mini-screws (sometimes called mini-implants, and micro-implants) provide a fixed object that can be used to push, pull, lift, or intrude teeth that are being straightened.


adult bracesClear Braces

Clear braces function similarly to traditional metal brackets but they use ceramic brackets that are made to match the color of your teeth.  Matching the bracket system to your teeth offers a cosmetic benefit to your treatment that many of our patients appreciate.  Ceramic brackets used in the treatment are also also more resistant to staining, helping to protect your smile and keep it looking its best during treatment.


High-Tech Alloy Dental WiresHigh-Tech Alloy Wires

NASA developed one of the 20th century’s most dramatic orthodontic innovations: heat-activated nickel-titanium alloy wires.  They found that at room temperature, these heat-activated nickel-titanium arch wires become very flexible.  Gradually, as they adjust to your body’s temperature, they become active and steadily move the teeth into the desired position. The high-tech properties of these innovative wires help them retain their tooth-moving capabilities longer than ordinary metal wires. This translates into reduced treatment times and  less visits to the orthodontist.  


Digital X-Rays

Digital X-raysDigital x-rays are faster, provide better image quality than traditional, and safer for the environment. Digital x-rays expose you to 80 percent less radiation than traditional radiography. Digital x-rays are more environmentally-friendly than traditional x-rays because they rely on digital computer uploads for viewing instead of chemical development. Less chemical produced, means less chemicals in our planet! Digital x-rays save storage space and also offer a better tool for diagnosis and treatment. Unlike traditional x-rays, digital x-rays can be enlarged, transposed, and highlighted to better show what is going on in your mouth!


Digital 3D Impressions

Digital 3D impressions with Planmeca PlanScan® intraoral scanner enables us to forego traditional, messy impressions to create your orthodontic products with ease and precision. Digital impressions give us a more complete view of your teeth and mouth. This allows us to make treatment more comfortable, more precise and more immediate.


Cone Beam Computed Tomography (3-D imaging)

Planmeca ProMax 3D Max technology is the first of its kind! It brings together a Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) image, a 3D facial photo, AND a 3D model scan combining them into one image. The result is a virtual 3D patient–a near perfect tool for diagnostic success. Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography is a high-tech x-ray option that is used when regular x-rays just don’t provide enough data. CBCT creates three dimensional scans of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bones so we get the full picture. Planmeca ProMax 3D units offer a unique, Planmeca Ultra Low Dose imaging protocol, enabling CBCT imaging with an even lower effective patient dose than standard 2D panoramic imaging.


Clear Retainers

Essix RetainerAfter you have obtained your beautiful smile with orthodontic treatment at Belmar Orthodontics, you need to commit to using your retainer to preserve your smile and avoid relapse. Retainers have come a long way from where they were just a decade ago. We offer both Hawley and Essix retainers for your post-treatment needs.  Essix retainers are removable retainers that are made entirely of transparent plastic–which makes them much less noticeable than traditional wire retainers.  Essix retainers promote good dental hygiene. They give you the freedom to remove the retainer when you brush and floss. Unlike some wire retainers, Essix retainers cover the entire arch of the teeth. But like the traditional Hawley, each one is uniquely molded to the shape of the patient’s mouth.


Call for an Orthodontic Treatment Consultation

If you are considering braces, but aren’t sure which method to use, call for a consultation today.  We can evaluate your need for orthodontics as well as discuss your options for orthodontics today. Belmar Orthodontics is dedicated to helping you obtain a healthy, functional, attractive smiles. Think you need braces? Our online patient education can help answer any questions you may have, and our friendly staff is always available to help.  Call 303.225.9016 today to learn more about braces or to schedule an appointment.  Dr. Hardy is committed to your care and will help you reach your smile goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Orthodontic TechnologyDuring the past decade, high-tech advances have transformed available orthodontic technology and treatments resulting in more patient-friendly, discreet and effective bracket systems. Braces are smaller, smoother, more efficiently adhered, healthier for the gums, and (some options) nearly invisible. Clear braces are fabricated to match your tooth’s natural color and have really made adult treatment more appealing. Newer still, is Invisalign, a system to move teeth without any braces. The archwires that straighten teeth today are not only more comfortable to wear, they also require less energy levels over longer periods of time. Some orthodontic wires even use the temperature of your mouth to activate tooth movement. These advancements in technology translate into more comfort for you, less time in an office chair, and quicker, lasting results. Our friendly, experienced staff at Belmar Orthodontics is excited to educate you on all your available options.  There never was a better time than today for receiving orthodontic treatment.


Invisalign Orthodontic TechnologyInvisalign: Orthodontic Technology that Transformed the Industry Standard

When Invisalign® was released as a treatment option, it accomplished something truly extraordinary in the field of orthodontics–an invisible, removable design. As an Invisalign® patient you wear a series of clear, removable orthodontic aligners that are adjusted as the teeth shift into place without metal or wires. Patients love that the aligners are clear and not easily noticed by others. They also require less trips to your orthodontist for adjustments and make cleaning your teeth easier than traditional braces during the treatment process.


Digital X-rays with Planmeca ProMax® 3D

Belmar Orthodontics strives to provide you with the best orthodontic technology currently available for your care and treatment. Improvements in technology save you time and can offer you better precision and better results. This is one of the reasons why we use digital x-ray technology over traditional x-ray methods.  With Planmeca ProMax® 3D we can offer our patients three-dimensional imaging as well as panoramic views of their bite and teeth alignment.  This technology not only helps when diagnosing your specific patient needs, it is also a tool that can help us create your perfect smile. Planmeca ProMax® 3D scans are extremely safe for our patients and incorporate Planmeca Ultra Low Dose™ imaging protocol, enabling imaging with an even lower effective patient dose than standard 2D panoramic imaging. The amount of information we are able to gather from you, coupled with an extremely low dose of radiation in comparison to traditional x-rays, makes this technology a win-win for our patients. Patients also appreciate the improved comfort and rapid image-gathering process that Planmeca ProMax® 3D offers.



Temporary Anchorage Devices, also known as TADs–or mini-screws, mini-implants, and micro-implants–are used in some orthodontic cases to help shift the teeth into a straighter position when braces can’t do it on their own, resulting in much more efficient treatment.  Combined with braces, the titanium mini-screws provide a fixed object that can be used to push, pull, or lift teeth that are being straightened. Since TADs don’t move, Dr. Hardy can use them to move teeth in directions and amounts that previously were not possible.


Planmeca PlanScan®

Belmar Orthodontics offers our patients the amazing benefits of digital 3D impressions with Planmeca PlanScan® intraoral scanner.  This high-tech orthodontic technology product enables us to forego traditional, messy impressions to create your orthodontic products with ease and precision. Digital impressions give Dr. Hardy a more complete view of your teeth and mouth allowing him to create products for you that are perfectly customized for your needs and that give you a more accurate fit. The process is more comfortable, and the results are immediate.


Clarity™ Advanced Ceramic Clear Braces from 3M Technologies

Clear ceramic braces lakewood coloradoThe outcome of your orthodontic experience relies heavily on the skills of your orthodontist and staff and the orthodontic technology they choose to incorporate in your treatment.  3M Technologies offers orthodontic practices the innovative orthodontic technology of Clarity™ ADVANCED Ceramic Clear Braces. This clear bracket system gives amazing results with minimal visibility of the appliance during treatment.  3M is a recognized, industry giant with many accolades to their achievements in innovation and science. Not only do clear brackets give you an aesthetic design, 3M Technologies went a step further with their innovation to create a top-of-the-line bonding agent that prevents demineralization around the bracket.  Clear brackets from 3M offers superior, adhesive strength so brackets stay strong and fixed during the treatment process, but couples that with a debonding agent that makes removal easy and safe for your teeth after treatment.


Lingual Braces

Incognito Braces LakewoodIncognito braces, from 3M Technologies, offer what many have been hoping orthodontic technology would achieve for years–braces that work behind your teeth, out of sight. This obvious cosmetic advantage has been propelling the Incognito Lingual Braces System to the forefront of popular orthodontic options in the industry.  Lingual (tongue-side) braces are bonded behind the teeth rather than in front so they are hidden when you talk and smile. Lingual braces offer you the same effective results as traditional braces but with a nearly undetectable appearance during the treatment process. Not all orthodontists offer lingual braces because training and technical expertise are needed to be able to provide you with the effective results you want. The dentists at Belmar Orthodontics have the expertise, training and experience needed to offer you this technologically-advanced treatment option.


Schedule a Consultation to Learn More

The best way to find out how Belmar Orthodontics superior orthodontic technology can benefit you is to schedule an appointment for an in-office consultation. Dr. Hardy can talk with you about your goals and come up with an effective treatment plan to help you achieve them.  Contact our office today at 303.225.9016.  We are excited to meet you and help you reach your smile goals!