Braces come in a variety of materials, nickel titanium, ceramic and clear plastic. The underlying biology of tooth realignment remains essentially the same. They are often used to correct under bites, as well as malocclusions, over bites, cross bites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw.

Cosmetic or structural?

Dental braces can be used for either cosmetic or structural purposes. Braces are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help widen the palate or jaws and to otherwise assist in shaping the teeth and jaws.

Braces are attached directly to the crowns of the teeth, resulting in stresses along the tooth roots and within the rope-like periodontal ligaments that tether teeth to bone. That’s where the biology kicks in. The periodontal ligament, strained to accommodate the stress, alters its normal blood flow, allowing specialized cells to dissolve bone in the tooth socket and gradually move the tooth away from the pressure. As the tooth moves, boneforming cells fill in behind to permanently reposition it in a straighter, more desirable position.