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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: ORTHODONTICS
The Art and Practice of Dentofacial Enhancement

Formerly World Journal of Orthodontics

Edited by
Rafi Romano, DMD, MSc (Editor-in-Chief)

ISSN 2160-2999 (print) / ISSN 2160-3006 (online)

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Fall 2000
Volume 1 , Issue 1

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Trying to Get Out of the 20th Century: A Partial Translation of Emil Herbsts 1910 Text

Stephen D. Hanks, MSD, DMD

Pages: 9-16

Editors note: It is apparent from an even cursory examination of orthodontic history that the latest and best probably made an appearance long ago, in the hands of an astute but obscure orthodontic clinician. My recent research on orthodontic history, as I prepared for the first two Heritage Lectures for the AAO and for the first WFO Memorial Lecture, uncovered many examples of reinventing the wheel. Some were merely ignorance of what was in the literature; some were thinly veiled copies, often with slight modifications before patenting the latest and best for personal gain and recognition. In the spirit of what is right, giving credit where credit is due, Dr Hanks has taken the superb book by Emil Herbst, published first in 1906 and then in expanded form in 1910, and has shown the amazingly contemporaneous application of his writings and appliances. Current orthodontists willingly give credit to Herbst, but those who lived at the same time were less willing to recognize the genius of this great German orthodontist. A well known 7th edition by an American orthodontic icon borrowed liberally from Emil Herbst and then sent a letter accusing Herbst of stealing his appliances and concepts! I have a copy of that letter, written in 1908. Actually, the so-called Herbst appliance, so popular around the world today, was described in only 10 pages out of 390 in the book. Other types of modern appliances (ie, rapid palatal expansion devices, bands and various bracket designs, biteplates and Hawley-type retainers) are beautifully illustrated. A subsequent doctoral study was done in 1991 at the University of Bonn by Edith Herbeck. She was a student of Gottfried Schmuth. The monograph, entitled Emil Herbst: Einer der Frühen pioniere der Deutchen orthodontie, clearly shows that much of what we know today as current and choice was described by this remarkable man. We are indebted to Dr Hanks for demonstrating that we are truly one world of orthodontics. --T.M. Graber

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