Generations of Smiles


In part two of our timeline review of generations of smiles, we pick up with two eras in which research and study have a profound effect on modern-day orthodontics. While masterful feats in orthodontic engineering come to us in the generations of our own Forever Smiles orthodontists, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and Dr. Elizabeth Razdolsky Michalczyk, the Silent and Boomer generations truly set the standard for orthodontic treatment of our Forever Smiles patients.

“As the child of a dentist, I have seen firsthand how doctors of my father’s generation looked to science to better develop treatments for their patients,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles Orthodontics. “Even as a young boy I remember seeing the gratitude my father’s patients had for how he could change their lives by improving their oral health, restoring their ability to eat or chew, or simply by just making them feel better when so many other things were weighing them down.”

The Silent Generation (1925-1942), a faction reared with strict childhood discipline which expelled “seen but not heard” famously received their name for being considered conformists. However, unlike this Silent Generation, much made waves in the field of orthodontics with the introduction of “A New X-ray Technique and Its Application to Orthodontia” published in the inaugural issue of Angle Orthodontist in 1931 by B. Holley Broadbent.

In this historic text, Broadbent expounded the virtue of Cephalometric Roentgenography (exterior taken radiographs depicting side view of the head, including face teeth, jaw, and surrounding structures) using a cephalometer to properly position the head. This new technology benefited orthodontics through cephalometric tracing and evaluation and resulted in a boon in research on craniofacial form and development. Although today’s 3D imaging scanners are vastly improved over their early cephalometric ancestors, much of the orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning utilized by Dr. Yan and Dr. Liz would not be possible had it not been for these early advancements.

Notable orthodontic advancements of The Silent Generation:

  • First Removable appliance introduced
  • Introduced Cephalometer Roentgenography to the field
  • 1938 twin-arch appliance introduced

“The introduction of cephalometric analysis to orthodontics was a game changer,” said Dr. Yan. “Finally, we could understand the skeletal relationships of teeth to the human skull and formulate treatment! The development of this technology of the time is astonishing and has had such a profound impact on nearly everything and every tool we use in orthodontics today,” he added.

Most of us are familiar with how the Boomer Generation (1943-1960) was named for the spike in birth rates after World War II where around 3.4 million babies were born in 1946 alone. But like this great impetus, 1940-1950 saw the greatest growth in research activity including outstanding contributions to craniometry, dentofacial complex using x-ray. This growth set the standard for all future research in child developmental growth having a lasting and positive effect on the field of Orthodontics. In the latter part of this generation’s development, socioeconomic factors allowed for substantial growth of the profession as orthodontic care became more widely recognized and first introduced as a treatment benefit in some health care plans. This alone set the stage for massive growth in the orthodontic profession for the next generation.

Notable orthodontic achievement of The Boomer Generation:

  • No major breakthroughs in appliance development
  • Extensive craniometry and dentofacial research/theories
  • Specialists begin to explore the importance of individualized treatment

“My father’s generation understood the value of scientific research to the development of treatment,” said Dr. Yan. “It invigorates me and is something that I hope I passed down to all my children who have also followed me into the dental profession. And now with Liz here at Forever Smiles, she and I are eager to explore and study the next wave of orthodontic advancements for our patients.”

Join us next month as we move through the greatest modern-day achievements in orthodontics brought to us by generations X and Y and introduces us to our favorite orthodontists of these eras, Dr. Yan and Dr. Liz.