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Root Resorption

Do Braces Shorten the Roots of your teeth?

In the field of orthodontics, whether braces cause the roots of your teeth to get shorter is a common question. Others keep asking if the activities of an orthodontist could affect the growth of their teeth. In this article, I seek to let you understand how braces work, and how they affect the size of the teeth’s roots as well as the growth of your teeth.

Braces work on the principle of creating Charlie horses or little cramps around every tooth. Orthodontic forces summon enzymes that force old bone to dissolve in areas where there is pressure and new bone is formed in the process. These are normal processes and they are the main ideas behind orthodontic teeth movement. There is a research that indicated that teeth movement has an effect on the shape of the roots among all patients. Among 98% of the patients, it is not possible to detect these changes with the naked eye.

During routine treatment, root shorting occurs among 2% of the patients. It occurs  the patients are genetically vulnerable to root resorption. It is also clear that root shortening is a common case in families. I noticed root resorption in two children and after having a look at the records of their mother, I realized she had the same problem. This shows that the disorder runs in families. It is important to communicate this genetic predisposition to your orthodontist if you are aware about it on time.

Do orthodontists have available treatment options for preventing root resorption? Some of the practitioners have actually theorized that it occurs when teeth are moved too slowly or too quickly. They argue that teeth that are moved too quickly are usually subject to too much force. However, my experience with this disorder is that I have used the same amount of force and time for the same patients. When braces are worn for a longer period, there is a high chance that they can cause a problem. However, I have witnessed transfer cases that do not affect the size of the roots even after having worn braces for 5 years.

The question remains, what should be done in order to prevent root shortening in the process of treatment.  The only option is that the experts are supposed to monitor the patients by the use of regular X-rays. The X-rays could be taken on yearly basis as long as the patients still have the braces on. In case root shortening is noticed on time, there could be a discussion between the patient and the family too. Treatment could also be continued as normal depending on the degree of shortening. Root shortening may also cause an alteration in the period of treatment. For example, the treatment could be terminated after the spaces between the teeth have closed. In fact scientific proof has indicated that it is possible for a tooth to lose more than 50% of its root and still function as usual.

Do you want to know more about root resorption? Yes!  You should Contact King Orthodontics today for an appointment with our expert orthodontist.

King Orthodontics, 400 East Dayton, Yellow Springs Rd. Fairborn, OH 45324

Phone: (937) 878-1561 Fax: (937) 433-9530

Root Resorption