Have you ever wondered why your orthodontist tells you to wear your retainer? Well, here is a good example to illustrate what happens as you age. As you get older, your teeth have a tendency to become more crowded. Also your teeth undergo changes as well, including being treated for cavities, fractured teeth, tooth pain etc. All these factors can lead to a lot of stress for the adult dental patients, especially those who are seeking orthodontic treatment. In addition, your bone denser as you age as well, which makes treatment slightly more difficult.
However, there is no need to worry. Orthodontic treatment for adults is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. The case shown above illustrates what happens if proper retention of orthodontic treatment is not maintained.
There is also a common misconception that orthodontic treatment requires heavy force in order to move teeth. In actuality, teeth are best uncrowded and moved with light, continuous forces. Furthermore, if there is not enough space for teeth to move, orthodontists need to create space. One method is to create space between the teeth using a combination of strips and discs (known as interproximal reduction or IPR) or by extracting teeth (mostly in the severely crowded cases).
In the case above, we utilized a combination of IPR, wire bending, and space closure techniques yield the result below. It was not easy, but I believe with a little patience and some TLC (tender loving care), orthodontists can achieve wonderful results for their patients and bring a smile back into their lives. :)