Having fabulous nails has long been a desire of many women over the decades. The only problem was that women had to grow out their nails in order to accommodate the incredible looks that were desired and this could take a lot of time. An accidental break and you’d have to start all over! The story of acrylic nails because not with a beauty specialist, but with a dentist named Fred Slack, Jr. He broke a fingernail while at work and created a temporary replacement for it that looked quite real. His brother, Tom Slack, then patented a successful acrylic version and started the company Patti Nails.
Although Fred Slack II retired in 1962 to move to Florida, his son, Fred Slack III, purchased the dental business that had been created by his father and came up with a number of inventions that have benefited a number of people over the years. He is still active in the industry today and his son Rick is the president of the company as of today.
1. High Impact Crowns
The same acrylic materials that make artificial nails tough is what makes the crowns that are implanted tough as well. Before this acrylic material was created, crowns were mostly placed for cosmetic purposes only. People would have to adjust their diets and their lifestyles to accommodate their new teeth. With the new crowns that could take high impacts, fewer changes were required of patients. This technology was also brought over to bridges as well. This eventually led to the discover of the first odor-free acrylic system.
2. Composite Dental Fillings
Many dental fillings were of a solid metal material that was then cooled while in the tooth to repair it. From gold to mercury, the materials weren’t always the healthiest to have in one’s mouth! Slack invented the first powder/liquid composite filling that would solidify in the tooth and create a more natural experience.
3. Direct Bonding
Many orthodontic adhesives would slip in and out of the mouth based on what a patient’s needs were. This meant dentures would end up sliding around on people and potentially cause gum damage because they wouldn’t affix properly. What Slack came up with was a method of direct bonding that would allow all orthodontic items to be properly affixed in the mouth so that a more permanent solution could be had. This added comfort to the experience, durability, and improved lifestyles once again.
4. Fiberglass Reinforced Acrylic
Taking the acrylic nails technology to a new level, Slack also invented the first tooth colored acrylic materials that were reinforced with fiberglass. This was combined with the first liquid composite resin and resin monomer, which also eventually led to the development of UV gel chemistry within the nail field. Just a few years later, Slack also introduced the first color stable for nails and a liquid and powder system for nail technicians to use. His products were in-demand so often that he was able to provide provide label items to salons that would use major label products solely.