Currently the mechanics of the orthodontic appliance is the primary tool for the clinician to conduct and control tooth movement. In the future, increased knowledge of the genetic and environmental factors affecting the biology of the patient may allow improved predictability and control of the direction, nature, and speed of orthodontic tooth movement. To date, little study has been devoted to the specific genetic factors that could influence tooth movement. Improvements in the knowledge base, research, and technology associated with genetics now have the potential to be applied to understand better tooth movement and related phenomena, such as bone modeling and remodeling. Orthodontic tooth movement could, in fact, be an effective model for studies of dynamic physiological processes associated with bone. Fundamental information about the variables controlled by the orthodontist and the resulting tooth movement must be systematically collected for research to progress. Such information is likely to lead to improved knowledge about orthodontic treatment and also about human bone physiology.
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