Risks and benefits for orthodontic treatment

Benefits of orthodontic treatment:

  • Improved face, smile and confidence
  • Improved bite
  • Improved health of teeth and gums

Risks of orthodontic treatment:

Orthodontic treatment is fantastic investment in your confidencein smile. It is crucial before you. If you do not keep your teeth clean and have frequent sugary intake in food or drink you may permanently damage the teeth and gums. This damage on your teeth initially presents as a white or brown mark on the tooth surface but this can progress to a hole. The gums may swell leading to bleeding on brushing. This is a sign that your brushing needs to be better. Poor cleaning of fixed appliance. Permanent white marks on teeth due to poor cleaning or too frequent sugar intake with brace on.

Poor Brace Cleaning


Permanent White Marks


When your brace is fitted you may experience some discomfort as the teeth begin to move. Also you may notice that the brace can annoy the inside of your mouth.
Speech can be temporarily affected.

If you fail to comply with treatment for example: repeatedly break your brace, miss appointments, fail to keep the brace clean, and fail to follow the orthodontist’s instructions.
This can lead to your treatment going on much longer than it should or your treatment being ceased. In these cases your teeth may be worse than when they started.

When you move teeth there is a small risk that the nerve and blood supply to the tooth may die off. This risk is slightly increased if you have previously damaged or banged your teeth there is a risk that the affected teeth may require further dental treatment during orthodontic treatment. Things to look out for are teeth beginning to get dark or any toothache. When you move teeth the roots of the teeth always shorten a small amount in rare cases they can shorten substantially. If a tooth has been previously traumatised the risk of this increases. The Radiograph below shows severe tooth root shortening:

When you are finished treatment you will be given retainers to wear and instructed on how to wear them. Tooth movement after treatment is very unpredictable. Some people’s teeth can move substantially whereas some only undergo minor changes. Tooth movement is normal throughout life and is just part of the ageing process.

The only way to guarantee that teeth do not move is to wear a retainer on a part time basis indefinitely


Severe Root shortening (very unusual)


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