How Orthodontic Treatment Works

At the most basic level, orthodontic treatment works on the principal that if you place light sustained pressure on a tooth, it will move by a process of bone remodeling around the tooth. There are many ways of placing sustained light pressure on a tooth including removable appliances, traditional braces, and clear aligners.

Types of orthodontic treatment

Interceptive or Phase I treatment

Orthodontic treatment to correct a specific problem before all of the permanent teeth erupt. In cases of interceptive or phase I treatment, the appliances are usually removed before all of the permanent teeth erupt. Further treatment may be needed after all of the permanent teeth erupt.    

Comprehensive treatment

Braces on all or most of the permanent teeth to correct tooth alignment and fix bite problems.

Limited treatment

Aimed at correcting a specific problem after permanent teeth have erupted.

Surgical-orthodontic treatment

Some bite problems are severe enough that orthodontic movement of the teeth alone cannot correct the problem. In these severe cases, orthodontic tooth movement is coupled with corrective jaw surgery to correct the problem.