Question: I have had braces for three years and I’m getting them off in May. Problem is, I have a huge gap in my teeth. My orthodontist pulled two of my teeth three years ago and I’ve complained that I don’t like walking around with a huge gap in my teeth. Are there any other options and how can I discuss this with my dentist? Answer: After wearing braces for three years, these gaps should have closed. May is not far away and I doubt they will close by then.
Here’s my recommendation: See two other orthodontists with your braces still on so that they can see the methods your current orthodontist is using to close the gaps.
Make sure one or both of these orthodontists specialize in Invisalign, as this may be a better option for you.
Many orthodontic cases involving taking teeth out before treatment do not end up well as the teeth have too far of a distance to move. The teeth may even tilt sideways to close the gap rather than moving fully and properly. Down the road, this will be bad for your bite.
Many of the cases similar to yours involve wearing rubber bands to ensure closing the gaps. If they are not worn, the results are often not good. Also, many cases that involve extractions lead to clicking in the jaw joint. Be sure to discuss this with your orthodontists if it’s an issue.
At this point in the treatment I think it’s wise to check with other orthodontists to make sure the treatment prescribed to you three years ago was the proper one. It’s not too late to change course midstream. Don’t be discouraged by this since “rebooting” your treatment most likely will not mean another three years. Best of luck.
Mark Burhenne DDS