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Dentistry/Permanent Braces

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Question
I am 26 years old and I have had my braces off for about 10 years now. My Orthodontist left a permanent metal brace on the back of my lower teeth. This brace has broken and will cost about $200.00 to replace. I would love to not have it anymore as it make is rather cumbersome when brushing. If I do not have this replaced, probable that my teeth will shift and become crooked again?

I was advised over the phone that my orthodontist will advocate to have it replaced as he does this with all of his clients and he himself has had one in for 27 years. If it is not necessary, I'd rather not have it.

Thank you for your guidance on this topic!

Answer
The smart advice is to continue using a retainer.  Otherwise you risk the resumption and increase in crowding of the lower incisors which is a continuous process as one grows older.  You don't, however, need to continue with the bonded lower wire.  There are other alternatives available.  One such alternative is a clear, removable retainer which is worn at night.  This appliance, known as an Essix retainer is one such device. It usually takes two visits to fabricate.  Of course, you'll have to have your current retainer removed and an impression taken.  The Essix retainer is then placed at the second visit, usually within one week of the impression.

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Dr. Randolph Myerson

Expertise

Please limit your inquiry to questions about orthodontics (braces) and children's dentistry. I am both an Orthodontist and a Pediatric Dentist, having been trained in both of these dental specialty fields. Orthodontics is the dental specialty that treats problems of tooth, bite and jaw alignment using braces and removable appliances. Pediatric Dentistry is the dental specialty also known as dentistry for children, which deals specifically with the dental problems of this special age group from infants to adolescents. I am also experienced in Forensic Dentistry, the application of dentistry to law enforcement and identification using dental records.

Experience

I have been in the private practice of orthodontics and pediatric dentistry for over 20 years. Prior to that I served for three years on the Cleft Palate and Cranio-facial Reconstruction team at Children''s Hospital of Philadelphia and was an Assistant Professor of Dentistry at University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. I also served as a dentist in the U.S.Air Force, stationed at Andrews AFB in Washington, DC.

Organizations
I am a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and a member of the American Association of Orthodontics, as well as a member of the American Dental Association and the Dental Society of the State of New York.

Education/Credentials
I received my BA in Biology from Frankin & Marshall College in 1969, and my dental degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1973. In 1978 I received both my Certificate in Orthodontics from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and my Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Children''s Hospital of Philadelphia after completing a three year Teaching Fellowship in Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in 1978.

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