Orthodontic Relapse

What Is Orthodontic Relapse?

Some patients may experience orthodontic relapse years after completing their orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic relapse occurs when the teeth shift after a patient has undergone and completed orthodontic treatment. Addressing orthodontic relapse is key to protecting the integrity of the bite and preventing further shifting of the teeth. Orthodontic relapse is one of the common orthodontic concerns that Dr. Wayne Sankey can address.

Dr. Wayne L Sankey 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.

Our 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 options, visit our Flower Mound, TX orthodontics office.

treating orthodontic relapse in Flower Mound Texas

What Causes Orthodontic Relapse?

Orthodontic relapse can be caused by various factors. Dr. Sankey 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: Grinding and clenching can strain the teeth, eventually impacting your teeth’s positioning.
  • Genetics: Genetics can play a role in the alignment and position of the teeth and jaw.
  • Missing Teeth: Tooth loss can create gaps between the teeth, causing tooth shifting and misalignment.
  • Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth typically emerge during the late teens or early twenties. As they develop, they can put pressure on the neighboring teeth, which may cause them to shift.
  • Age: Teeth can weaken as patients age. The enamel begins to break down, making teeth more susceptible to shifting.

Orthodontic Relapse Treatment Options

Treatment for orthodontic relapse will depend on the severity of malocclusion and the degree of tooth misalignment. Our team at Flower Mound Orthodontics 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:

Retainers For Orthodontic Relapse

At Flower Mound Orthodontics, we custom-fit retainers to suit our patients’ needs. Dr. Sankey can adjust and replace retainers for optimum comfort and fit. Our goal is to give our patients the tools they need to achieve a more aligned smile.

We offer several types of retainers to accommodate our patients. They are essential for maintaining proper teeth alignment so we will take our time finding the right fit for you. To learn more about why you need to wear a retainer, see Retainer Care.

Orthodontic Relapse FAQs

Orthodontic relapse can happen to anyone and should be prevented at all costs. If you have questions about it, read through our frequently asked questions. If you still have further questions or concerns about orthodontic relapse, please contact us.

Is orthodontic relapse common?

Orthodontic relapse does happen. Several factors typically determine whether or not you are at risk for it. The first is how compliant you are with your post-brace treatment. Another factor is your age. As we age, our teeth settle in and shift less. Younger patients tend to experience orthodontic relapse because they are less strict with their retainer, and their teeth are more likely to shift. Also, the more extreme your case was, the more likely you will experience some level of shifting after your orthodontic treatment.

Can my teeth shift with a retainer?

Retainers are designed to prevent teeth from shifting after orthodontic treatment. If you do not consistently wear your retainer, teeth will gradually return to their original position. However, your age and the original alignment of your teeth can all affect whether or not you experience orthodontic relapse. If your teeth shift with a retainer, you must get fitted for a new retainer.

How long does it take for teeth to relapse?

On average, it typically 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.

Can a tooth gap come back after braces?

Yes, it is possible for a tooth gap to come back after treatment with braces. However, many factors can determine if this will happen. The best thing you can do is follow your orthodontist’s instructions during the retention phase. Wear your retainer as directed because it prevents your teeth from returning to their original position.

The younger the patient and the larger the gap, the higher the chances are that the gap can return. To minimize these chances, follow your orthodontist’s instructions for retainer wear and return for follow-up care. In most cases, a wire will be placed to prevent teeth from shifting post-treatment.

Does a permanent aligner stop teeth from relapsing after orthodontic treatment?

A permanent aligner may be used to prevent teeth from relapsing after treatment. Permanent aligners are a common way to prevent teeth from shifting post-treatment. They will not stop teeth from shifting, but they have been known to prevent it.

Find Treatment For Orthodontic Relapse in Flower Mound, TX

If you would like to discuss your post-orthodontic care options, Dr. Sankey and our team at Flower Mound Orthodontics can work with you to coordinate the care you need. Visit Dr. Sankey for a comprehensive dental exam, consultation, or second opinion. To visit our orthodontist near you, call 972.833.8212, or request a consultation online.