Orthodontics in antiquity: Myth or reality

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Malocclusion although a common finding in today’s world appears to have been less frequent in antiquity. There are references to overcrowding, delayed exfoliation of deciduous teeth and basic orthodontic treatment in the writings of classical authors such as Hippocrates, Celsus and Galen, however, early authentic archaeological finds of dental appliances are extremely rare. Considerable attention has focussed on gold banded devices excavated from ancient Etruscan sites in central Italy which have been dated to around the 7th-4th centuries BC, with a number of authors suggesting an orthodontic function for these appliances. This paper reviews the evidence for the possible treatment of malocclusions in antiquity by means of removable orthodontic appliances and concludes that any such treatment is not supported by the available evidence.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number3
Early online date12 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016