The movement of teeth during orthodontic treatment is a gradual process where ligaments are stretched then new bone grows supporting the tooth’s new position.
In order to move teeth into proper alignment and improve facial balance and harmony, three essential ingredients are needed:
1) healthy roots and bone
2) steady, gentle pressure
To accomplish proper alignment, the orthodontist attaches braces to the patient’s teeth. Braces consist of brackets and wires. The wires apply light pressure to each tooth while the brackets are the handles that transmit the force to the tooth. During the treatment, the orthodontist will periodically make adjustments to maintain the directional pressure required to continue the movement of the teeth.
Orthodontics uses a system of directional forces to achieve facial balance and tooth movement.
How teeth are moved with braces
When pressure is put on a tooth, the bone around that tooth responds by changing shape. The existing bone around the tooth dissolves and new fresh bone grows in its place to provide support for the moving tooth.
At the beginning of tooth movement, teeth move in response to the degree of force or pressure applied by the orthodontic brace. The direction of movement can be 3-dimensional and is determined by the orthodontist.
The pressure or force causes the supporting ligaments to dissolve as the tooth moves forward and while the ligaments on the other side stretch as the tooth moves away.
Where the ligaments have stretched, new bone fills the space and provides support for the tooth in its new position.