Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both. Orthodontic treatment can help fix the patient's teeth and set them in the right place. Orthodontists usually use braces and retainers to set the patient's teeth.
- - For comprehensive orthodontic treatment, most commonly, metal wires are inserted into orthodontic brackets (dental braces), which can be made from stainless steel or a more aesthetic ceramic material. The wires interact with the brackets to move teeth into the desired positions. They are fixed (non removable) appliances.
- - Removable, functional appliances (plates) are used mainly in growing patients. Other removable methods like Invisalign, which consists of clear plastic aligners that move teeth, can be used in adults too.
In many cases both techniques are necessary to resolve the patients particular problem.