The Evolution of Invisible Braces: A Walk Down Memory Lane


Invisible braces, or aligners, used in orthodontics for the teeth straightening treatment, didn't always looked as we know them now. It took almost a hundred years to create, modify and use modern clear aligners.

1925: Remensnyder Invented Dental Massage Device

Although dental aligners, or what is vastly known as invisible braces, might seem like a relatively novel technology, its origin can be traced as far back as 1925 when Orrin Remensnyder invented the ‘Flex-O-Tite’ gum massaging appliance. The ‘Flex-o-Tite’ was meant to treat gingival diseases like periodontitis, but Remensnyder observed a surprising side effect to this treatment where certain teeth were found to have moved marginally.

Remensnyder dental Massage Device 1925

1946: Kesling Created Tooth Positioner

20 years down the road in 1946, Kesling invented his ‘tooth positioner’ which was made from an elastic vulcanite plastic. It was meant to be used after the orthodontic treatment along with fixed appliances, like dental brackets. The ‘Psitioner’ was made based on the ideal position for teeth by way of a cast model at the end of the treatment, and he found that significant movements could be achieved. Somewhat ahead of his time, he remarked in his notes the following:

"Major tooth movements could be accomplished with a series of positioners by changing the teeth on the setup slightly as treatment progresses. At present this type of treatment does not seem to be practical. It remains a possibility, however, and the technique for its practical application might be developed in the future."
Kesling Tooth Positioner 1950

1964: Nahoum’s Plastic Sheets

It wasn’t until 1964 that Dr. Henry Nahoum would build on Kesling’s idea, albeit with a twist. Nahoum created a method using thermoformed plastic sheets to move teeth ("The Vacuum Formed Dental Contour Appliance"). This was arguably the first dental ‘aligner’ to be produced, but Nahoum found that the process was somewhat limited because of the difficulty found in evenly dividing larger movements into small precise stages.

Henry Nahoum Vacuum Plastic Machine 1964

1993: Sheridan et al, the Essix

In 1993, the American orthodontist John J. Sheridan developed his own aligner system, which he called Essix and was largly responsible for popularizing the technology in the North America. He developed a series of thermoformed plastic overlays used in tooth-moving appliances.

Essix Retainers 1993

1997: Align Tech, Going Mainstream

In 1997, two MBA students put together a business plan for what would later become Invisalign. If Remensnyder was the one creating the concept, Kesling/Nahoum were the ones who began using it as a treatment method, and Sheridan was the one to clinically validate it, then it was Align Tech that popularized dental aligners.

Align Tech 1997

Present-day Aligners

Since then, over 2 million patients worldwide have used dental aligners. There are several leading aligner manufacturers at the moment who have rapidly developed manufacturing techniques in light of advancing orthodontics, along with software and material. eon Aligner is among them, and you can read the scientific comparison of eon aligners and other aligner brands.

Align Tech 1997

Whenever you decide to choose eon Aligners as the best solution to straighten your teeth, your orthodontist will explain you the full procedure you should follow through. You will also see the overall process for your teeth rotation and know the price of your eon invisible braces in the beginning.

To begin the teeth straightening treatment and get your perfect smile, fill eon Aligner form, so our consultant will contact you directly and advise an eon Aligner certified Orthodontist in your city.

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