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Braces

Permanent retainer impressions question

01/06/2008

Question:

I am at the end of my orthodontic treatment, ready to take my braces off in a week. About two weeks ago, I had impressions made of my teeth for permanent retainers on both the top and the bottom. My question is that my orthodontist is still treating my teeth, and they are still moving. Since the impressions, my upper right and left cuspids have moved down, because I am still wearing rubber bands, and my lower right 1 and 2 teeth have also shifted upward a little, in relation to my lower right cuspid. My concern is, shouldn`t the permanent retainer impressions be made to exactly match where the teeth are before taking the braces off? Will the permanent retainer wires cause my lower teeth to shift back to how they were when he took the impressions, or should he adjust the wire at the time he is going to put them in? Should new molds be made? I am very concerned because I have had these braces for over 2 years, and I don`t want to have any regression after all this work. Thank you, I look forward to your reply.

Answer:

It is difficult to comment without seeing the degree of change you are concerned about. I think you should share your concerns with the doctor by calling the office and explaining to the receptionist who can forward your concerns. Remember that all teeth that have had orthodontic movement are subject to some change after treatment as are teeth that have never had orthodontics. That is why retainers are important and that you follow the recommendation of the office for the proper wearing and to take good care of them because they are easy to loose.

I would not over-worry about some small discrepancies. Also remember that the retainer may feel snug at first and that is to be expected, but as time progresses they need adjustment.

I hope these thoughts are of some help.

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Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University