Fig.7  Fig.8 Fig.9

Dental Education Lecture:Relapse

Relapse is defined as movement of teeth after braces.

Fig.1-3 show Eric's crooked teeth before early braces.  Fig.4-6 show his teeth immediately after treatment.  Fig.7-9 show his condition two years after treatment. Fig.2,3,5 are mirror images.

The most crooked tooth (black arrow in Fig.2) relapses (R in Fig.7,8).  That is, it moves backward, behind lower front teeth, again. The newly erupting adult canines are located a little too outside (3 in Fig.8,9, as compared to neighboring teeth, such as 1,2 in Fig.9) and turn awkwardly (3 in Fig.8).

It appears that Eric needs braces again. To prevent relapse, we should wear retainers religiously after braces are done. Brand new misalignment (such as adult canines) cannot be predicted or prevented.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 12/11/2010, last revision 12/26/2010