The History of Clear Braces
Getting braces can be exciting and anxiety-inducing. On the one hand, braces will significantly improve your appearance by enhancing your smile. On the other hand, the process usually takes years and you have to accept your appearance while wearing braces. Generally speaking, there’s a lot of commentary from peers when people get braces. Whether it’s during childhood or adulthood, braces can sometimes accompany teasing – this can be far more detrimental for young people who are still building their confidence in life.
Technology used for braces has changed significantly over the years. In fact, they are far more comfortable to install and wear. Getting braces is less complicated than it was in years past because of advancements in methods and equipment for orthodontic treatments. Despite this fact, there’s still the issue of how metal braces look. Although many people who wear braces are perfectly fine with their new appearance, some want options. This is precisely why clear braces were created, and it’s a product that many people prefer.
In the 1970s, experts in the field of orthodontia sought additional treatment options for straightening teeth. It was during this timeframe that clear braces begin to grow in popularity because they were less noticeable than metal braces. Back then, clear braces were just that – exactly like metal braces, but made of materials that were clear. In the 1990s, things began to change when students from Stanford University studied orthodontia to address the issue of teeth shifting after a patient takes off their braces. Although slow, it became evident that teeth were shifting after orthodontia treatments, which is when clear plastic retainers were created using 3D computer technology. It was just a short time later that a product known as Invisalign was created.
The technology originally used to make Invisalign was created by a company called Ceradyne. They were hired to find material that could be used in infrared radomes, and subsequently developed translucent polycrystalline alumina (TPA). This is basically a translucent ceramic material. About a decade earlier during the 1980s, a company called Unitek contacted Ceradyne regarding the use of translucent polycrystalline alumina in orthodontics, and the companies joined forces to conduct clinical trials. Their efforts resulted in the development of transcend orthodontic brackets that were basically transparent braces. It was so well received by patients, that it was considered the most successful product launch to ever occur in the industry. It solved the problem of having a mouth full of metal.
Despite the fact that Invisalign is so popular, and is often considered the preferred invisible braces, ceramic invisible braces are often used today. In fact, many companies have used new technologies to produce products that are far more comfortable than the first set of ceramic invisible braces. One of the primary benefits of ceramic invisible braces is the fact that they blend so well with the natural color of a patient’s teeth. Ligatures are also produced to match the natural color of teeth. Since the early 1980s, more adults have sought orthodontic solutions to straighten their teeth, and most have wanted to maintain a professional appearance. This contributed to continued advancements in technology for clear braces.
Despite the fact that clear braces usually cost more than metal braces, they remain the preferred choice by many patients. Many patients consider the extra expense worth not having to wear metal braces for years. As technology advances, manufacturers of clear braces have found ways to improve the technology so that they remain a preferred choice in a competitive market. Technology for braces is ever-changing, and treatment options are expanding. We’re here to find the right solution for you.