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When to Consider Orthodontic Re-Treatment

By Kevin Dowd January 8, 2018

Braces are often considered a hallmark of childhood dental care. However, as patients age many begin to notice changes in the alignment of their smile. While there is no single factor that can be blamed for orthodontic relapse, there are patient behaviors as well as developmental changes that can negate orthodontic treatment.

Some of these factors include:

Failure to Follow a Post-Treatment Plan: One of the most common causes of relapse is the failure to maintain follow-up treatment plan recommended by your orthodontist. Wearing a retainer post-treatment is critical to keeping the teeth in their new position as it reinforces the new alignment.

Wisdom Teeth: Since the wisdom teeth are the last to grow, many patients undergo orthodontic treatment before their wisdom teeth have emerged. If these third molars are not able to breach through the gums and become trapped in the jaw, they may develop incorrectly and become impacted. As a result, the neighboring teeth may be pushed out of alignment as the wisdom tooth grow, negating any prior orthodontic or alignment therapy.

Bone Adaptation: Successful orthodontic therapy requires the permanent adjustment of the tooth in relation to its position in the supportive bone. Re-positioning the tooth too quickly or failing to allow the bone to reintegrate the tooth in the new position can encourage future relapse.

Failing the Eliminate the Original Cause: If orthodontic misalignment is the result of a poor oral habit such as mouth breathing or thumb sucking, the cause of misalignment must be addressed in order for treatment to be successful.

Development of Negative Habits: As we age, we often develop additional oral habits which can play a significant role in the relapse of an orthodontia-treated smile. The development of bruxism, clenching, or even nail biting as a response to stressful scenarios can cause the bite to become misaligned, leading to the need for eventual re-treatment.

Orthodontic Re-Treatment in Contra Costa County
At the Pleasant Hill practice of Dr. Kevin Dowd,our team is committed to helping patients achieve optimal oral health and aesthetics. For patients that have noticed their teeth reverting to their original position following orthodontic treatment, our Pleasant Hill dentist offer Realine® as a way to regain dental symmetry. For more information about this re-treatment program, contact our practice today to schedule your consultation. 
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