Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

The march of technology - orthodontics waits for no man or woman

Yesterday, I was talking about compatibility of technology, today I thought I'd look at the change in technology in an area that is special to me....music.

I'm old enough to remember vinyl records not merely before  they made a come back for hipsters, but before they went away in the first place. In fact, I remember record players that had settings 33/45/78 - that is, they could play vinyl records (and probably acetates) that were made in the 1920s or before. Singles were at 45 rpm, and the LP was at 33. My dad was never keen on the idea of my brother or me buying singles because they were bad value. An LP cost 4 times as much, but it had maybe 20 more songs on it, so was worth saving up for.... but I think my earliest memories of records were the fabulously colourful psychedelic sleeves on singles.

Then CDs came. I remember my first CD (Peter Gabriel's "Passion"). I didn't own a CD player for another 8 years. In the early 90s, I was still buying vinyl like it was going out of fashion (because it was, it never occurred to me it would ever come back). 

Then there was MP3, so I could stop recording my CDs on tape to play in the car, I could put them all in my iPod. Except it was a Creative Zen at the time. It broke and I got a iPod under the warranty. It's called an iPod Classic now, but at the time, that was what the iPod was. I was dismayed that mine was only 30GB and it was filled in no time. I think that one failed under warranty too, but technology had moved on and for the same price, I got a bigger iPod. It was 120GB - more space than my desktop PC at the time, and  I filled that one too. I think they briefly made a bigger one than that.

Then streaming came along. You wouldn't actually own the CDs, you wouldn't even need to own a digital version of a song, you'd just pay money to hear almost any song ever made. I remember the first time I heard streaming songs (it was Bread's "Baby, I'm a want you", and I hasten to add it was someone else's choice).

And along the way there were cassettes - I'm old enough to remember them being called "compact cassettes" as 8-track cassettes were still around when I was a kid. I can't remember the last cassette I bought, but I do remember my last great mix-tape and my brother's greatest mix-tape and when I was setting these up as Spotify playlists, it made me think of writing the blog today.

Don't start me on TVs, Plasma, LED, LCD, DVDs, VHS, Betamax, Laserdisc, BluRay etc 

How has orthodontics changed over the same time?- you'd barely recognise it.

In the 1960s, they started putting the slots on the brackets at different angles to reduce the amount of wire bending the orthodontist had to do. In the 1970s, they developed a reliable way of bonding brackets directly to teeth - before that, you needed a metal band around each tooth. When you took the braces off the teeth, you had to do things to close up the small spaces between them. In the 1980s, material science and mass production techniques built on these innovations to make orthodontics more widespread and consistent, and less painful. In the 1990s we had the early small CT X-Ray scanners for more accurately locating buried teeth and the development of anchorage implants to replace headgear and the early incarnations of Invisalign. In the 2000s, the revolution was mainly digital - photography, intra-oral scanning to replace impressions, and Invisalign treatments which for many people is the difference between having orthodontic treatment and not having orthodontic treatment.

Blog Tags
As part of Phase One of the National Reopening, Swords Orthodontics is now resuming routine orthodontic treatment.
There will be a few differences in how we do this specifically to deal with coronavirus, but you'll still be getting great orthodontic treatment.
We'll be in touch to reorganise your appointments, please don't attend without an appointment.