Dr. Wadhwa and Dr. Chen's Laboratory
Location and Contact Information
For years, orthodontists have been able to move teeth in a predictable fashion. However, after the removal of orthodontic appliances, teeth tend to want to go back to their original position. Research in our lab is focused on trying to understand the biological differences between these two types of tooth movement, with the goal of determining a method to orthodontically move teeth into a stable position without the use of lifelong retention. In order to accomplish this, we have examined the effect of orthodontic tooth movement and relapse on mandibular alveolar bone density. We found that orthodontic tooth movement caused a decrease in alveolar bone density and that relapse returned the bone density back to basal levels. The significance of this finding is that manipulating alveolar bone density may be a novel method to prevent relapse.
TMJ diseases predominantly afflict women. However, the biological reason behind this sexual dimorphism is unknown. In our lab we focused on the role of estrogen and estrogen receptor signaling in mediating TMJ growth and mechanical loading induced remodeling. There are 2 main estrogen receptors: alpha and beta. We found that each of these receptors play a role in mediating TMJ growth and in mediating TMJ remodeling. Understanding the role of estrogen receptors in the TMJ is crucial for understanding the sexual dimorphism of TMJ diseases and in developing novel pharmacological treatments for people with mandible condylar growth abnormalities.