Some patients may experience an orthodontic relapse years after completing their orthodontic treatment. An orthodontic relapse occurs when the teeth shift after a patient has undergone and completed orthodontic treatment. Addressing an orthodontic relapse is key to protecting the integrity of the bite as well as prevent further shifting of the teeth.
Dr. Scott McElroy offers personalized solutions for children and adults and works closely with each patient to minimize their risk of orthodontic relapse. Our team aims to improve the function and appearance of your smile. The end goal is to prevent future relapse and equip our patients with the tools they need to maintain a healthy smile. To learn more about your orthodontic options, visit our San Ramon, CA orthodontics office for treatment.
What Causes Orthodontic Relapse?
An orthodontic relapse can be caused by a variety of factors. Dr. McElroy will examine your bite and perform a comprehensive exam of your teeth and jaw to determine the underlying cause of relapse.
Common causes for orthodontic relapse may include:
- Teeth Grinding
- Missing Teeth
- Wisdom Teeth
Teeth can shift as part of the aging process as the facial structure changes. Tooth loss can also cause teeth to become crooked causing tension and painful symptoms in the jaw. Another cause for orthodontic relapse may be that the initial orthodontic treatment was insufficient or did not address orthodontic misalignment.
Treating Orthodontic Relapse
Treatment for orthodontic relapse will depend on the severity of malocclusion, or tooth position, and the degree of tooth misalignment. Our team offers comprehensive solutions and in-depth oral exams to correct an orthodontic relapse. We may recommend one or more of the following solutions to treat orthodontic relapse:
Orthodontic Relapse FAQs
How long does it take to correct orthodontic relapse?
If your teeth relapse after orthodontic treatment it can take up to a year to treat. Retainers are often used to help prevent relapse. It is very important to wear your retainer for as long as the orthodontist recommends in order to avoid orthodontic relapse.
What happens if my teeth relapse after braces?
If you relapse after treatment, do not worry. It is not uncommon in the first year after treatment. Your teeth have not fully adjusted to their new placement. Retainers and other orthodontic appliances are used to push your teeth back into place and hold them there until they adjust.
How do you fix a relapse tooth?
Depending on the severity of the relapse, patients may need to have orthodontic appliances made to help push their teeth back. They may also need other orthodontic treatment if their teeth have shifted significantly.
Visit Our San Ramon, CA Orthodontist Office
It usually takes up to a year for the teeth to stabilize after treatment. While the teeth naturally want to shift into their original position, a retainer can help prevent shifting and allow the teeth to stay in their post-treatment condition. If you require further treatment following an orthodontic relapse, call us at (925) 386-2208. You may also schedule an orthodontic appointment online, and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.