Edward H Angle founded the Angle School of Orthodontia in St. Louis, Missouri 1900 which he formally established orthodontics as a specialty.

With Angle the specialty of orthodontics received a new impetus. He coined the term malocclusion and is widely known as the “father” of orthodontics.

In 1945 Dr Harold Kesling proved that a series of “tooth positioners” could be used to gradually move teeth. He cut teeth from a plaster model and repositioned them with wax, then made flexible rubber appliances on the models.

This is where the term “Kesling Setup” originates from. He also founded the TP company.

In 1968, Dr Earl Bergersen developed the Orthotain preformed positioner. This appliance could be used to sequentially align teeth. He founded Orthotain Inc.

In 1975 after 2 years of trials Dr. Lloyd H. Truax devised the TRU TAIN clear orthodontic retainer and subsequently invented, with Dr M. Rains, sequential aligner therapy known as STARS in 1986  (Serial Truax Appliance, Raines System).

He also patented attachments to bond to the teeth for use with aligners and founded the TRUTAIN company.

Dr Lloyd Truax  and Dr Michael Rains are arguably the true inventors and innovators of the clear aligner orthodontic method.

In 1994 Sheridan and colleagues introduced the Essix retainer and sequential aligners very similar to the Trutain Retainer, really just a copy of the Trutain aligner/retainer.

They did however describe enhancements to the system including “divots” and “windows” which enhanced tooth movement.

The use of sequential aligners is not new however the method of manufacturing has changed over the last 10 years. The use of computer 3D software to manipulate teeth, stereo lithography and 3D printing of dental models have all contributed to enhance aligner manufacturing and make it more accurate and more predictable, however the process has been well known in dental technology for the last 30 odd years.

Align Technology makers of the Invisalign product was founded by Zia Chisti an investment banker.