ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT PRODUCES SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT FOR PATIENTS. THE BENEFITS OF A PLEASING SMILE AND HEALTHY TEETH ARE WIDELY APPRECIATED. HOWEVER, ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT IS AN ELECTIVE PROCEDURE. THERE ARE SOME UNAVOIDABLE RISKS AND LIMITATIONS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF BEFORE STARTING TREATMENT.
LACK OF PATIENT COOPERATION- THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF PROLONGED TREATMENT AND POOR RESULTS
Practicing good oral hygiene, keeping regular appointments, wearing elastics, appliances, or headgear, and avoiding improper foods are all essential for a good result. Failure to cooperate will result in a compromised result, extend treatment, and result in additional expense.
TOOTH SCARRING- DECALCIFICATION AND DECAY
Poor tooth brushing and excessive sugar in the diet will produce permanent scarring and staining of the teeth and can require restorations (fillings). Proper brushing, flossing, limiting sugar in the diet, and reporting any loose braces will help prevent scarring.
HEADGEAR-INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE FOLLOWED CAREFULLY
The elastic force must be released before the headgear is removed or it can snap back and cause severe injury to the mouth, face, or eyes. The headgear should not be worn during rough play or sports that might cause falls or collisions.
IMPACTED TEETH-TEETH UNABLE TO ERUPT NORMALLY
In attempting to move impacted teeth, especially canines, various problems are sometimes encountered which may lead to damage or loss of the tooth or adjacent teeth. Also, problems with the supporting bone and gum tissue may develop. Rarely, these teeth will not move.
DEAD TEETH-USUALLY TEETH THAT HAVE BEEN INJURED
Teeth can die over a long period of time with or without orthodontic treatment and require root canal therapy. Teeth with fillings, or a oral history of trauma are more likely to be affected.
SHORTENING OF ROOTS-ROOT RESORPTION
The roots of teeth can become shorter with or without orthodontic treatment. Under healthy conditions the shortened roots usually are no problem, but can result in tooth loss. Accidental injury, surgical procedures, impaction, medical disorders, or unknown reasons can cause this problem.
POST TREATMENT TOOTH MOVEMENT-RELAPSE
Teeth will shift or settle after treatment and retention. Some changes may be desirable, but others will not. Rotations and crowding of the front teeth are common. Slight spaces where teeth were removed can remain. Proper retainer wear prevents relapse.
UNFAVORABLE FACIAL GROWTH-POOR JAW RELATIONSHP
The position of the jaws in relationship to each other determines how well the teeth can fit together. If the jaws do not develop in a favorable position, the orthodontic result can be compromised. Unfavorable growth of the jaws before, during, or after treatment may necessitate surgery to correct the bite.
TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT (TMJ)-JAW JOINTS
Popping, clicking, locking, and pain can develop in the jaw joint and surrounding structures. These symptoms may exist before, during, or after orthodontic treatment. While tooth position or bite problems may contribute to these symptoms; non-dental factors such as psychological stress, arthritis, injury, or structural problems can also be involved. Clenching or grinding the teeth may also be associated. Orthodontic treatment may or may not correct TMJ symptoms.
GUM DISEASE-PERIODONTAL DISEASE, LOSS OF BONE AROUND THE TEETH
Periodontal disease results in the loss of support for the teeth and may exist before, during, or after orthodontics. A periodontics or dentist must evaluate patients with periodontal disease before orthodontics can be started. Good oral hygiene can help control periodontal disease, but gum and bone support can sometimes be lost during orthodontic treatment, and teeth can be lost.
When removing bonded brackets or bands, enamel flaking or fracturing can occur. This risk is highest for teeth with large restorations or root canals, which tend to weaken the enamel.
UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES-VERY RARELY ORTHODONTIC APPLIANCES, DENTAL RESTORATIONS, OR CHIPPED TEETH CAN BE SWALLOWED OR ASPIRATED AND COULD REQUIRE EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT.
All required dental work must be completed before orthodontics can begin. Patients must continue to visit their regular dentist while undergoing orthodontic treatment. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY OF THE ABOVE, PLEASE ASK DR. DAVID L. JONES