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.
Plano dentist Dr. Jacob Grapevine can offer patients with orthodontic relapse comprehensive treatment to straighten their smile, improve oral health and address any additional cosmetic concerns they may have. Highly trained in both orthodontic and cosmetic treatments, Dr. Grapevine can provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and aesthetic goals.
What Causes Orthodontic Relapse?
There are several potential causes of orthodontic relapse. Dr. Grapevine will do a thorough bite analysis and orthodontic exam to help determine the cause of relapse. Our Plano, TX dental practice looks at the fundamental skeletal relationship in order to correct the functional cause of tooth misalignment promoting lasting results.
The obvious reason some people face orthodontic relapse is due to incomplete orthodontic treatment. It’s no secret that orthodontic treatments take time and patience. You must follow through with the whole treatment or failure is likely. When your treatment is complete, it is also very important to go to your follow up visits with Dr. Grapevine to monitor the results as well as be committed to wearing your retainer. It is easy to get out of the habit of wearing it every night and orthodontic relapse is inevitable if you fail to wear it. Teeth can shift as part of the aging process as the facial structure changes. Another cause for orthodontic relapse may be that the initial treatment did not address the orthodontic alignment of the skeletal system.
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. You will wear each aligner for two to three weeks. Patients who orthodontic relapse, minor crowding and other small alignment issues are typically able to complete their treatment in less than 6 months. During this time, you will be able to remove them to brush, floss and eat as you normally would.
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 porcelain veneers or other porcelain restorations.
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.