Orthodontic relapse is a common problem in adults who wore braces as teenagers. For any number of reasons, teeth can shift out of alignment, causing minor cosmetic issues with the potential for further functional issues. Patients often wonder if it’s worth treating and the answer is almost always yes.
Before & After Orthodontic Relapse
Dr. Grapevine straightened the patient's front teeth using Smart Moves over a three month period. In addition, he completed minor contouring and placed cosmetic tooth colored bonding on the upper and lower teeth to repair wear and establish an even bite relationship.
Why Correct Orthodontic Relapse
The primary concern is that orthodontic relapse is a chronic condition, meaning if the alignment issues are not corrected, the teeth will continue to shift and move. This will cause cosmetic issues, but more importantly increase the health and functional dental risks such as:
- Difficulty brushing and flossing
- Gum irritation
- Receding gums
- Tooth cavities
- Bite problems
- Chipped teeth
- Excessive tooth wear
- Tooth enamel abrasion
Depending on the person's specific condition, the problems can cascade into more complicated bite problems and TMJ related disorders. Treating orthodontic relapse early allows for the most conservative treatment options.
Treatment Options for Orthodontic Relapse
For most patients with Orthodontic Relapse, the best treatment is short term orthodontics using an "invisible braces" system like Smart Moves. Similar to Invisalign, Smart Moves uses a series of clear aligners to gently shift teeth back into the desired position. Patients who orthodontic relapse, minor crowding and other small alignment issues are typically able to complete their treatment in less than 6 months.
In some cases, there may be minor wear, chipping or other cosmetic concerns as a result of orthodontic relapse. Typically, Dr. Grapevine can correct minor cosmetic issues using simple tooth bonding treatment. More significant wear or damage may be corrected using veneers or other porcelain restorations.