The science of dentistry has improved vastly with various innovations. The use of biomaterials, techniques, cell research (stem cell research), and bioengineering has aided in these improvements that have lead to significant advances in the field of both dentistry and orthodontics. In the perfect situation, a material that is to be used in the oral cavity should be harmless to all oral tissues.
Rarely, unintended side effects may be caused by dental restorative materials. A common example of this is the mercury contained in dental fillings. Although safe, there has been a few isolated cases in the past where tissues rejected said materials. Proper biological tests and standards for evaluating any material that is developed and intended to be used in the mouth is, and always will be, necessary.
Medical history (relating to dentistry and orthodontics) milestones can be represented through a few key books:
Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica (1543)
William Harvey’s Exercitatio anatomica de motu corids (1628)
Edward Jenner’s An Inquiry into the Causes and Effect of the Variolae vaccinae (1798)
Hanaoka Seishua’s surgical manuscript (Japanese) by noted physician, the first surgeon to use anesthesia in an operation.
Hieronymus Brunschwig’s De Arte Distillandi, printed in Strasbourg in 1512.
The advents of the scientific advancements in dentistry and orthodontics should not be limited to just new information but should also be sourced, at least partially, by time tested methods, practices, and knowledge contained in the history of orthodontics and dentistry.