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FAQ:  Braces


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Question:
Canine and braces: I have an adult canine on my top left side that grew out between my bicuspids (the baby canine is still intact) and my orthodontist said that there wasn't any way to move it to its rightful spot because there isn't enough bone to work with.

He said that all he could do is move the bicuspid to where the canine should be and vice versa. Is it really impossible to move it to its proper spot? I would feel extremely self conscious about having the two teeth "flipped".

The ortho assured me I don't show enough gum in my smile for anyone to notice, but I would notice! And I have more "vampire shaped" canines so I feel it would be obvious. Should I seek a second opinion? ... Visitor from Tucson

Answer:
This may be an "experience issue". Many orthodontists are quite creative in correcting faulty positioning of teeth.

For some situations that might include yours, there are Periodontists who have the talent for moving teeth around where bone tissue quality or quantity has an influence on healthy healing.

My son, early on, had a tooth growing out of the roof of his mouth. My instruction to his orthodontist was to remove the tooth.... and a dental implant could be used later to insert a tooth into the correct position, after ortho treatment created the area for it.

Instead, the orthodontist used a custom appliance to slowly, VERY slowly move the tooth into the correct position where, initially, there was no room.

My son is now 23 years old... with perfect teeth.... but does wear a retainer at night to keep things where they are supposed to be.

Getting a 2nd and even a 3rd opinion is advisable. "Experience" is the key to getting what you want for a perfect smile. Training, alone, is not enough.

Editorial Staff

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