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An Orthodontist Beats the Wild West

The father of orthodontia may have graduated from the same program as Doc Holliday, but he put his education to great use as an orthodontist. Even a hundred years later, his standards hold.

John Henry "Doc" Holliday was a dentist before he was a gunslinger. He got his training and credentials at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1872. Although he is most famous for his part in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, he had a dental practice in Atlanta, Georgia, before making his way toward Tombstone, Arizona, and becoming part of Wild West legend.

Four years after Doc Holliday graduated with his DDS, a man named Edward Hartley Angle took his degree at the same institution. Dr. Angle took a very different post-graduate route from that of Dr. Holliday. Instead of becoming a professional gambler, he became a professor. He taught at several universities before founding his own school, the Angle School of Orthodontia. In fact, he was the first person to claim orthodontics as his specialty.

Although the first orthodontist is not as well known or nearly as colorful as the man who graduated four years before him, Dr. Angle deserves credit for launching a specialty that touches the lives and teeth of millions of people every year. Just think, the criteria against which a person's bite is judged was determined by a man who gained his expertise in the nineteenth century. When you look on the grand scale, it is definitely a legacy more instrumental in the daily lives of twenty-first century teenagers than the legendary exploits of Doc Holliday.

Before you decide that this timeline supports your theory that braces are archaic devices, remember that there were no color options in the nineteenth century. Clear braces were a hundred years away. The whole notion of braces as either fashion statement or effectively hidden so as to avoid awkward photos of adults is fairly recent. The framework for determining how your teeth should be positioned within your mouth has stood the test of time. Vanity, however, has kept the evolution of function and form rolling right along.

Should you find yourself in need of an orthodontist, have no fear. This specialty has created a series of alternatives that can straighten your teeth and fit your lifestyle at any age. If you would prefer to hide your braces behind your teeth, an orthodontist can do that for you. If the thought of metal adhered to your teeth at all has kept you from making the appointment your dentist recommended years agoScience Articles, Invisalign might just be the perfect solution to your hesitation. A series of alignments form your teeth as you gradually straighten them without ever getting food stuck in metal. That might just take care of all of your dental issues. You won't know until you go.

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