The History of Clear Braces

Huffman Family Dentistry

Taking care of teeth has been a priority for people for many years. Millions of people around the globe use braces to help keep their teeth looking good. Over the years the way braces are made and used has evolved in major ways. Clear braces have been part of that evolution. Clear braces have a unique history that provides insight into the importance of having a good looking mouth.

The concept of invisible braces began gaining traction nearly fifty years ago in the 1970s. People desperately wanted to find an alternative to the use of wires and headgear. Dentists in Japan and the United States began to experiment with putting braces on the inside of teeth. This was the time period where people began to look for alternatives to traditional methods. Two University of Stanford Students were responsible for discovering that not using clear retainers caused teeth to shift back to their positions quicker than braces. Those students were Zia Chishti and Kelsey Wirth. The emergence of 3d technology became handy at this time. These students use that technology to help create plastic retainers. Their process of monitoring tooth alignment eventually leads to a unique process called Invisalign.

About a decade later a company known as Ceradyne, Inc. became involved in this process. During this time Ceradyne had worked closely with other major groups to find a material that could be used in infrared radomes. The groups that they worked with include the NASA Industrial Application Center and the University of Southern California. Through lots of research, the company discovered what was called translucent polycrystalline alumina (TPA).

Fast forward to the mid-1980s. Ceradyne began to collaborate with the Unitek Corporation. This company had been on the hunt for a see-through material that could be used in orthodontic treatment. After some back and forth negotiating, the two companies decided to work together on some clinical trials. A short time later Transcend Brackets became one of the most successful products on the market. At one point the company reached more than 300,000 individual units a month, becoming the most successful product of his kind in history.

The following thirty years would see lots of change. Several companies around the world would begin working to create and develop technologies that were faster, stronger and provide more comfort for patients. Ceramic invisible braces are still available today. They are very strong and do not produce any stains. The use of clear braces has grown exponentially during this time. The experts have found a way to make this product stronger and almost painless for patients. So feeling comfortable with the Invisalign procedure will come naturally. They may be a little more expensive but they provide a great alternative for patients. 

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