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Braces

Should I attempt braces again?

01/18/2008

Question:

I had braces in my mid 20`s. I am 30 now. The last few months, I`ve been under a lot of stress and wasn`t diligent with putting in my retainers (invisalign type). The reason I had braces done in the first place was because, I had 2 molars removed (one in the upper right and one in the lower left area). They were badly decayed and the dentists I went to around that time never told me that I needed to have something in their place. So my teeth started shifting. On top of that, I had advance periodontal disease, my gums receded a lot and bone had receded. I managed to get one bridge in place before there was further drifting. To make a long story short I told my orthodontist of the shifting I was noticing recently, he kept telling me they were fine, even though I clearly saw that the teeth didn`t fit into the retainers properly as before. Any concerns I had were answered with "You`re teeth looks fine". Unfortunately I felt he wasn`t listening to me and I stupidly made an attempt at shifting the teeth myself by trying to use slow pressure with my fingers. I caused myself a lot of pain when I twisted a molar (yes, I did managed to do that). I`ve worried myself sick after that thinking I there maybe some irreversible damage. As of now my retainer have the molar sections cut off because putting them in hurt after my dumb mistake. The retainer had encased 2 molars on the left and lone one of the right side of my upper set of teeth. That one lone one is shifting backwards. My orthodontist refuse to rebrace my teeth, telling me the teeth are still fine. But I don`t understand how they are. I went for a second opinion. I went for a second opinion and was told if I don`t fix it, there`ll be more wear and tear on one side of my mouth. Now I am more stressed out because I have an open bite, a molar that I can`t keep in place, and a ruined arch alignment. All of that will lead to not so good things. I`ve been reading that root resorption could occur with braces and I am scared of that. If only my regular orthodontist had just told me to keep in the retainers for a while longer. If only he gave me further explanation. Now, I am not sure if I should just keep things as they are now or try to fix things by going back to braces. I am so frustrated with my orthodontist for not communicating with me and mad at myself for not having any common sense when I did what I did.

Answer:

First thing I would do would be to go to the periodontist and have him ascertain the health of you teeth and gingiva (gums) and/or if there is any trauma when you close your teeth together. Ask him/her what the risks are of not doing further orthodontic treatment and how he feels about having you wear newly made retainers to maintain the degree of correction you have. Then ask the periodontist to communicate with your orthodontist as to the best options for you.

Do not over fixate on some minor irregularity if you have had major dental problems. Your condition as you describe it needs to have more than one player in the decision tree.

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Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University