Charles Philip Adams

Professor Adams qualified from Queen’s University in 1940. He served in the Royal Navy before becoming a lecturer at the University of Liverpool and the Eastman Dental Hospital. He was then promoted to senior lecturer at Belfast, subsequently becoming reader and later professor.

Adams’ notable achievements include the Belfast Growth Study of children aged 5-15 years and his inventions, the Adams’ Cephalostat and the Adams’ blink comparator. His book The Design, Construction & Use of Removable Orthodontic Appliances ran to six editions.

Adams was President of the BSSO in 1974-75 and was an active member of the BDA.

Adams’ clasp

In 1949 removable clasps were revolutionised with the introduction of Charles Philip Adams’ new clasp design. It was a modified arrowhead clasp, with the arrowheads of the clasp engaging with the mesiobuccal and distobuccal undercuts.

The clasp is usually constructed from 0.7mm stainless steel wire and Adams designed a new pair of pliers for this purpose, the Adams Universal pliers. The Adams’ clasp can be used on all teeth but is most commonly used for molars and premolars.

The clasp’s versatility, excellent retention, unobtrusiveness and the fact that it could be modified to fit a range of appliances meant it soon became the most used clasp across the world and sontinues to be used today.