Adult Braces and Root Canal

Braces appear to be related to children, but sometimes adults need them.  Mrs. Zhao hurt her front teeth during a basketball game 20 years ago.  One of them (#8 in Fig.1) gradually shifts outward and downward (arrow) with abscess (*).  X-ray shows extensive root infection (bone loss: arrowheads in Fig.2). 

Detailed exam indicates that root canal should be done to get rid of the infection.  After starting root canal, the abscess is gone (Fig.3).  Six braces (B) corrects the tooth shifting just in one day.  Extensive bone loss is still evident in a new X-ray film (arrowheads in Fig.4) when root canal (R) is finished, approximately 2 months after its initiation.

For the shifted tooth to stay in its normal position, new solid bone is needed to build up around it.  It takes about 2 to 3 years (Fig.6, as compared with Fig.2,4).  Finally the braces are removed.  The tooth stays at home steadily with healthy gums (Fig. 5).

Return Child, Adult Dental Care

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 07/30/2011, last revision 08/07/2016