Orthodontic treatment can focus on dental displacement only, or can deal with the control and modification of facial growth. In the latter case it is better defined as “dentofacial orthopedics”. Orthodontic treatment can be carried out for purely aesthetic reasons-improving the general appearance of patients’ teeth and face for cosmetic reasons-but treatment is often prescribed for practical reasons, providing the patient with a functionally improved bite.

If the main goal of the treatment is the dental displacement, most commonly a fixed multibracket therapy is used. In this case orthodontic wires are inserted into dental braces, which can be made from stainless steel or a more esthetic ceramic material.

Also removable appliances, or “plates”, headgear, expansion appliances, and many other devices can be used to move teeth. Functional and orthopaedics appliances are used in growing patients (age 5 to 14) with the aim to modify the jaw dimensions and relationship if these are altered. This therapy is frequently followed by a fixed multibracket therapy to align the teeth and refine the occlusion.