Percy Raymond Begg (1898–1983) is a great figure in the history of orthodontics. Born in Coolgardie, Western Australia, he attended school in Adelaide, graduated in dentistry from the University of Melbourne and studied orthodontics in California under the famous Edward H Angle. Returning to Adelaide in 1925, he established an orthodontic practice and lectured in orthodontics at the University of Adelaide. Becoming dissatisfied with the results of Angle’s methodology, he evolved an original system of management, based on awareness of the natural tendency of the teeth to migrate throughout life in response to attrition. He developed corrective appliances using stainless steel wire and elastic bands, employing relatively light forces to correct dental irregularities. Begg’s theory and techniques are now taught throughout the world. He is honoured in the University of Adelaide by the PR Begg Chair in Orthodontics and by a museum in the Adelaide Dental Hospital.

By Donald Simpson and Geoffrey Brown

This entry was first published in The Wakefield companion to South Australian history, edited by Wilfrid Prest, Kerrie Round and Carol Fort (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2001).

Uploaded 9 April 2014.

Add media

There are currently no media items.

Add story