LAKEVILLE AND PRIOR LAKE, MINNESOTA- Most orthodontic patients endure a few months to a couple of years of treatment and then they're done. Except, of course, for wearing their retainers for a specified time following treatment.
But some patients need to be retreated at some point. This is an occasional concern raised by parents when they bring their children to an initial orthodontic consultation.
Adult and pediatric orthodontist Dr. Trudy Bonvino of the Lakeville and Prior Lake orthodontics practice Cosmopolitan Orthodontics explains some reasons for retreatment.
Some Cases Require a Two-Phase Approach
For years, the American Association of Orthodontists has recommended that parents take their children to an orthodontist for an assessment by age 7. This is because some treatment is most effective when the child is still growing, said Bonvino, also a Minneapolis Invisalign provider.
When this is the case, a two-phased approach may be necessary to prevent the need for teeth extraction or possibly even surgical correction down the road, she said.
The initial phase begins at an early age and is designed to address growth issues and the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. Early interceptive treatment also can help correct crossbites, open bites, severe crowding and malocclusion- bad bite.
After a majority of the permanent teeth have erupted, braces for kids can create proper teeth alignment, Bonvino said. The need for this second treatment phase is determined by the size and the position of the teeth that erupt, how the teeth fit together, how effective phase one treatment proved to be, and the parents' and child's expectations.
Underbite is the condition in which a patient's lower jaw protrudes farther than the upper jaw. Uncorrected underbite can affect a child's speech pattern and create other problems. Children diagnosed with an underbite typically require treatment to correct the jaw's position. This is considered skeletal treatment. Additional treatment usually is required after the teeth have erupted, and it focuses specifically on the teeth. In some cases, if the teeth have erupted into their proper position, there won't be a need for retreatment.
Improper Initial Treatment
Although it is not common, Bonvino sees the occasional patient who has been treated previously by another orthodontist and the case wasn't properly addressed. These cases require additional treatment to correct bite or alignment problems.
Patients Quit Wearing Their Retainers
After a patient's braces are removed, treatment isn't over. A retainer is prescribed. Orthodontists routinely place a fixed (nonremovable) retainer behind the lower teeth, and prescribe a removable retainer for the upper teeth. Retainer wear is important because these appliances hold the teeth in place while the soft tissue and bone around the teeth stabilize. Patients who fail to wear their retainers as directed may find that their teeth gradually shift back into their previous position. If this goes on long enough, simply wearing the retainer again may not be enough to correct the shift. Another round of orthodontic treatment could be needed.
"This is the leading reason for retreatment in among patients," Bonvino said. "It is all too common for children to stop wearing their retainer, or for their retainer to break. Sometimes they never get around to replacing it."
Orthodontic treatment can involve several stages, but with proper care and perseverance, you can achieve a beautiful smile that will make it all worthwhile.
For more information about Prior Lake orthodontics and Dr. Trudy Bonvino, visit the Cosmopolitan Orthodontics website. Cosmopolitan is located at 17757 Juniper Path in Lakeville, and 8310 C.R. 42 in Savage. Call 952-469-3333 for obtaining installation of Minneapolis Invisalign or Minneapolis pediatric orthodontics.