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Six-Month Adult Aesthetic Orthodontic Treatment

Six-Month Adult Aesthetic Orthodontic Treatment

Straight teeth in just six months.

Posted on Glidewell Laboratories.

While cosmetic dentistry has commanded more attention with recent breakthroughs — such as all-ceramic crowns, veneers, composite materials and intraoral cameras — the demand for adult cosmetic orthodontic treatment has also increased. It has been estimated that in 1970, only 5 percent of adults aged 18 or older sought consultations for comprehensive orthodontic treatment.1 In 1990, four times that number sought consultations for orthodontics.

Currently, adults present with chief complaints about the crowding of their teeth more frequently than anything else.2 Many adult patients want to straighten their teeth, but they are unwilling to wear braces for two or more years. Patients presenting with a physiologic occlusion and a desire for aesthetic improvement can benefit from orthodontic correction that requires only a short treatment time of six months or less. Adults who have their teeth straightened experience a better body self-image and higher self-esteem.3,4 The general public is focused on a noncrowded, aesthetic tooth arrangement more so than orthodontists, who are also concerned with occlusal and skeletal relations.5 A short, six-month treatment can very well enhance periodontal and occlusal aspects of the patient’s dentition. Treatment, therefore, serves as an adjunct to final periodontic and restorative treatment, even though the main focus remains cosmetic.

Simultaneously treatment planning the orthodontics with the cosmetics, crown & bridge, and periodontics in the same office facilitates a well-orchestrated cosmetic result, which can be more difficult to achieve through cross communicating between specialists. In this context, limited cosmetic orthodontic treatment is best done on patients who otherwise may not opt for comprehensive orthodontic treatment.


The first aspect of case selection involves a discussion of the patient’s chief complaint. Patients are given a list of orthodontic and cosmetic problems, and asked to indicate their objective(s) for seeking treatment. In almost 90 percent of adult cases, relieving anterior crowding is the primary concern. This figure is based on 20 to 25 new orthodontic consults per month for six months in my general practice.

When the patient is committed to treatment, a database of information should be obtained: panoramic and full-mouth radiographs, intraoral and extraoral photographs, and models. A problem list is then reviewed with the patient, followed by a comprehensive treatment plan. The orthodontic aspect should be cosmetically oriented, specifically excluding skeletal problems. Because the profile and posterior occlusion are not to be changed significantly, a lateral cephalometric X-ray is not necessary.6

The treatment sequence includes the following:

  • Data collection and records;
  • Prophylaxis, fluoride application, oral hygiene instruction, and endodontic and periodontic disease resolution;
  • Extraction of third molars and a lower incisor when necessary (other teeth may rarely need to be extracted);
  • Cosmetic orthodontics; and
  • Bleaching, crowns and cosmetic bonding when indicated

If the patient prefers not to wear Hawley retainers, teeth can be retained by splinting once settling has occurred.

The Case for Enamel Reproximation

Because the postextraction health of the temporomandibular joint has been questioned, bicuspid extraction is now done with less frequency than in the past. It provides a result that is not always aesthetic or stable, has been slowly decreasing in popularity (almost 8 percent between 1988 and 1993), and remains controversial, varying widely among practitioners.7-10 Almost one and a half years is required to close the extraction spaces, and nonextraction patients have fuller lip support following treatment.11 Expansion is also a questionable method of treatment because long-term stability is doubtful.12

However, enamel reproximation allows for minimal localized tooth movements, fewer extractions, maintenance of lip support and shorter treatment time. Begg theorized that crowding of most dentitions is actually the result of decreased proximal wear, which our evolutionary predecessors once experienced.13 Therefore, enamel reproximation would seem to be the most natural available remedy for relieving crowding.

Enamel reproximation (air-rotor stripping) can be done for up to a 10 mm arch-length discrepancy. Sheridan recommends limiting reproximation to 1 mm per contact or 0.5 mm per proximal surface.14,15 Frequently, more than this can be done without noticeable change in tooth morphology or sensitivity because it’s done throughout six months in conjunction with fluoride treatments. It has also been theorized that the resultant flat interproximal contacts may actually increase post-treatment stability.16 Anterior lower arch crowding greater than 4 mm should be treated with the extraction of a lower incisor, followed by reproximation to minimize the black triangular space at the gumline. In most cases, a space determination is performed by resetting the teeth on the models with wax to measure the space required. This also allows a preview of the aesthetic result for both patient and doctor.


Brackets should be bonded to the first molars using a straight-wire technique and NiTi wires. Posterior brackets with a larger (0.022) bracket slot placed in an ideal, aligned position minimize posterior occlusal changes. Successive reproximation using double-sided fine diamond discs (Brasseler) is followed by the use of fluted carbide burs for finishing and rounding enamel edges. Interproximal over-reduction can rarely cause transient tooth sensitivity.

All teeth should be gradually aligned with local reproximation, progressively heavier wires and chain elastics. The principal tooth movements include rotations, tipping and vertical movements as opposed to translation and root torquing. By minimizing root movement and bone remodeling, treatment time is decreased. Profile change, relapse and root blunting are also minimized, which is significant because root blunting can occur when moving roots greater distances throughout a longer period.

Retainer wear is recommended for six months (full time), six months (at night) and three nights per week until stability is achieved. Post-treatment fiberotomies should be performed for all rotations. Following two months of retainer wear to allow for occlusal settling, cosmetic alterations may be performed, such as cosmetic bonding, bleaching, all-ceramic crowns, enamelplasty and gingivectomies. Teeth deficient in a mesial-distal dimension (peg laterals, enamel erosions or broken teeth) should be built up before treatment to allow for proper final tooth positioning.

Case I

The patient presented with typical Class I crowding with aesthetics as the chief complaint. Rather than expand the arches into an unstable position prone to relapse in the adult patient, or reproximate lower incisors so much that they impinge on the gingival embrasures, it was decided to remove a lower incisor. The uppers were reproximated using a Brassler diamond disc and edges recontoured. The treatment was seven months and the patient was splinted afterward. Some molar supra-eruption occurred because of an anterior composite bite plane that relieved the deep bite and decreased the likelihood of further attrition in the anteriors.

Case 1 - overcrowding teeth

Results after 7 months of treatment

Case II

The patient was referred by a local dentist who had done simple orthodontics, but who was not willing to treat occlusal problems. The patient had crowding with a bilateral crossbite that was causing both anterior and posterior attrition at a young age, requiring orthodontics.

The crossbite was corrected through the use of cross-arch elastics from the lingual of the upper molars and bicuspids to the buccal of the lowers. Enamel reproximation made space to treat the anterior crowding. Upper and lower bonded Ribbond splints served to reinforce the bonded incisal areas caused by attrition. It also provided resistance to fracture, as the splints produce a greater bonded surface area and composite thickness. An upper posterior Hawley retainer prevented relapse of the posterior crossbite.

Case 2 - Patient with crowding and a bilateral crossbite.

Case 2 - The crossbite was corrected through the use of cross-arch elastics.

Case III

This patient presented with the chief complaint of a large diastema. She had advice from numerous orthodontists who expressed different opinions regarding how to correct this (because of her deep bite and lack of lower spacing), as well as reservations regarding the possibility of successful retention. At our consultation, it was explained to the patient that our plan would include:

  • Upper and lower anterior retraction and possibly lower enamel reproximation because of extra space on the uppers;
  • A fixed composite bite plane on #8 and #9 lingual to relieve the deep bite by causing posterior supra-eruption;
  • Possibly redistributing excess space to the distal of the upper canines to limit the retraction required; and
  • An upper splint, which would be required. Removable retention is unacceptable in these cases. Therefore slight overjet in the final result is planned to make space for the splint.

Case 3 - Patient with large diastema.

Case 3 - Patient after five and a half months of treatment.

Per usual protocol, a prophy, bitewings, panoramic X-rays and restorative work were completed first. The patient’s treatment lasted five and a half months, with splinting and bleaching occurring on the final visit. At recall, the patient’s Ribbond splints were intact as she was not a bruxer. It is unlikely that this case would have succeeded without fixed retention.

It has been estimated that in 1970, only 5 percent of adults aged 18 or older sought consultations for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. In 1990, four times that number sought consultations for orthodontics.


Six-month adult cosmetic orthodontic treatment has a 60 percent acceptance rate among new patient consults in my practice, and post-treatment satisfaction is high. Many adults who undergo treatment have previously declined comprehensive treatment in other offices. Enamel reproximation, extraction of a lower incisor for space and limited occlusal change are among the modalities making this treatment unique and well accepted by patients. Offering clear or lingual appliances increases the patient’s cosmetic options. Treatment planning the orthodontic and restorative phases together facilitates patient understanding and communication, and delivers an outstanding cosmetic service. Patients with TMD, skeletal chief complaints, severe over/underjet, occlusal problems or very deviated midlines may opt for comprehensive treatment by an orthodontist. However, for the majority of adult patients with simply unaesthetic, crowded, spaced, functionally efficient and non-TMD dentitions, dentists should focus on the aesthetic chief complaint by performing conservative attenuated treatment in the general practice.


  1. Gottlieb EL. 1990 JCO study of orthodontic diagnosis and treatment procedures: results and trends. J Clin Orthod. 1991;24:145-56.
  2. Nattrass C, Sandy JR. Adult orthodontics—a review. Br J Orthod. 1995 Nov;22(4):331-7.
  3. Varela M, García-Camba JE. Impact of orthodontics on the psychologic profile of adult patients: a prospective study. Am J Orthod Denofacial Orthop. 1995 Aug;108(2):142-8.
  4. Lew KK. Attitudes and perceptions of adults towards orthodontic treatment in an Asian community. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1993 Feb;21(1):31-5.
  5. Cochrane SM, Cunningham SJ, Hunt NP. Perceptions of facial appearance by orthodontists and the general public. J Clin Orthod. 1997 Mar;31(3):164-8.
  6. Proffit WR. Contemporary orthodontics. 2nd ed. St Louis: Mosby; 1993. p. 155.
  7. Little RM, Riedel RA, Engst ED. Serial extraction of first premolars—postretention evaluation of stability and relapse. Angle Orthod. 1990 Winter;60(4):255-62.
  8. McReynolds DC, Little RM. Mandibular second premolar extraction—postretention evaluation of stability and relapse. Angle Orthod. 1991 Summer;61(2):133-44.
  9. Weintraub JA, Vig PS, Brown C, Kowalski CJ. The prevalence of orthodontic extractions. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 1989 Dec;96(6):462-6.
  10. O’Connor BM. Contemporary trends in orthodontic practice: a national survey. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 1993 Feb;103(2):163-70.
  11. Paquette DE, Beattie JR, Johnston LE Jr. A long-term comparison of nonextraction and premolar extraction edgewise therapy in “borderline” Class II patients. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 1992 Jul;102(1):1-14.
  12. Glenn G, Sinclair PM, Alexander RG. Nonextraction orthodontic therapy: posttreatment dental and skeletal stability. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 1987 Oct;92(4):321-8.
  13. Begg PR. Stone Age man’s dentition. Am J Orthod. 1954;40:298-312.
  14. Sheridan JJ, Ledoux PM. Air-rotor stripping and proximal sealants. An SEM evaluation. J Clin Orthod. 1989 Dec;23(12):790-4.
  15. Sheridan JJ. The physiologic rationale for air-rotor stripping. J Clin Orthod. 1997;31:609-12.
  16. Peck H, Peck S. An index for assessing tooth shape deviations as applied to the mandibular incisors. Am J Orthod. 1972 Apr;61(4):384-401.
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Anterior Retention With a Reinforced Composite Resin Splint After Cosmetic Orthodontic Treatment

Anterior Retention With a Reinforced Composite Resin Splint After Cosmetic Orthodontic Treatment

Originally posted on Dentistry Today.

It has become increasingly clear that making space in the crowded adult dentition by orthodontic expansion of the dental arch is prone to relapse.1,2 Moreover, the intercanine distance has actually been shown to decrease as early as mid-adulthood.1,3 Even cases treated to stability during late adolescence are prone to “late incisor crowding” by 34 years of age,4and the presence of third molars does not significantly contribute to this.5 Even though other skeletal factors and even facial bone dimensions may not significantly decrease until a later age, the influence of naturally decreasing intercanine distance on anterior dental aesthetics has been grossly underestimated. This basic misunderstanding of the early maturation of adult jaw dimensions has enormous repercussions for orthodontic treatment philosophy, as well as implications for the necessity of long-term retention.

Therefore, in cases where one must choose between slight contraction of the intercanine dimension through lower incisor extraction or expansion, the former may prove more stable. Anticipating “intercanine shrinkage” may help prevent future crowding years later when the doctor and patient have presumed stability, and retention has been discontinued. A cosmetic splint anchoring each anterior tooth individually serves to prevent this common and unaesthetic phenomenon of anterior orthodontic relapse.

Traditionally, orthodontists in the 1950s used a prefabricated metal bar fixed to only the canines for lower retention, with the rationale being the effects of arch expansion would be maintained until it was removed. Any incisor relapse would be inconsequential because it would just be an “aesthetic” consideration (Figure 1). Now that dentistry has accepted that the major reason adult patients seek treatment is aesthetics, we can properly address this essential aspect of retention. Some began affixing a customized bar with incisor pads or braided wire bonded to each incisor,6,7 which represented an improvement but still required placing metal in an aesthetic area. It was rationalized that the elastic property of a thin wire allowed physiologic mobility helpful in the periodontic patient.7 This is to be differentiated from the orthodontic patient with healthy periodontium, where the aim is to provide a window for bone and PDL fibers to reorganize with rigid reinforcement.

Also presented for periodontal patients have been reinforced composite splints using TMS pins8 and bondable reinforcement ribbon.9 With the boom in cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic orthodontics, the ribbon is proving useful for the stabilization of adult patients. Unlike the lingual bar this splint can be later removed incrementally as the patient desires.10 As 50% of relapse has been shown to occur in the first 2 years after orthodontic treatment,11 the splint should remain intact for longer than 2 years.

The main purpose of the splint is rigid fixation of the teeth. This immobilization, however, also accelerates the growth of supporting tissues, as the alveolus and PDL fibers can reorganize around the teeth in their new positions without interference from tooth mobility inherent in orthodontic treatment. In addition, this technique enables cosmetic augmentation of the final orthodontic result, as black triangular spaces, incisal discrepancies, or the lengthening of teeth can be achieved with more strength than free-standing incisal composites, which lack the thickness or support of a reinforcement material on the lingual aspect (Figures 2 and 3). Except for those few cases where the patient has a perfect orthodontic result and well-proportioned white teeth without any incisal defects, anterior bonding attached to and reinforced by the splint can greatly enhance the final aesthetic result.

If a maxillary splint is planned and the patient presents with overjet, the overjet should be preserved to allow space for the maxillary splint (Figure 4). This is in contrast to traditional orthodontic philosophy of complete elimination of overjet, even if the overjet represents the natural skeletal position. Skeletal changes cannot be permanently retained without surgery. Adult overjet, such as in a class 2, division 2 case (Figure 5), will be more stable if the overjet is maintained.

Figure 1. Lingual metal bar fixed only to the canines allows incisor relapse, which is not acceptable in cosmetic orthodontic patients. Figure 2. Class 2, division 2 before incisors are tipped forward giving overjet. Note attrition from deep bite on palatally tipped incisors.
Figure 3. After a 6-month treatment time with lingual braces, patient is splinted. Irregular incisors may be lengthened with more durability than with incisal composites not supported by a splint. Figure 4. Slight overjet in final result helps allow the necessary thickness for a durable maxillary splint.
Figure 5. Once completed, an adult class 2, division 2 case will result in overjet without surgery. Figure 6. Etching can include incisals should there be discrepancies that need correction.
Figure 7. Initial layer of composite should be a strong material and kept away from papillae. Figure 8. Splint-It! reinforcement material is placed into composite and cured.
Figure 9. Placement of addtional composite to cover reinforcement fibers. Figure 10. Occlusion is checked before final recontouring and polish.


Step one. Complete enamel etching with recontouring on buccal and incisal for aesthetics, and on lingual if necessary to allow splint thickness with occlusion (Figure 6).

Step two. Bonding layer with composite is kept away from gingiva (Figure 7).

Step three. Two strips of Splint It! (Jereric/Pentron) or Ribbond (Ribbond Inc) reinforcement material are pressed into composite. Excess material is placed over reinforcement and cured (Figure 8).

Step four. Addition of final layer of composite (Figure 9).

Step five. Occlusion is checked preceeding recontouring embrasures with a Brasseler No. 8392-31 016F interproximal diamond and polishing bur (Figure 10).


Even in the most stable types of orthodontic treatment, any relapse at all may be unacceptable cosmetically. Through the placement of a reinforced composite splint, the teeth can be held in position and more significantly recontoured, thus augmenting the final result. Subsquent splint removal can be done incrementally 3 to 5 years after placement as the patient desires.

Author’s Note: I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. John Witzig on December 3, 2001. Dr. Witzig was a true innovator who was not afraid to fight the tide of consensus in orthodontics. He brought many  people together in the field (I met my wife at his course). We all owe him a debt of gratitude, and he will be greatly missed. Thank you, John.


1. Bishara SE, Jakobsen JR, Treder J, et al. Arch width changes from 6 weeks to 45 years of age. Am J Orthod. 1997;111:401-409.

2. Rossouw PE, Preston CB, Lombar CJ, et al. A longitudinal evaluation of the anterior border of the dentition. Am J Orthod Dentofaciai Orthop. 1993;104:146-152.

3. Sinclair PM, Little RM. Maturation of untreated normal occlusions. Am J Orthod. 1983;83:114-123.

4. Bondevik O. Changes in occlusion between 23 and 34 years. Angle Orthod. 1998;68:75-80.

5. Harradine NW, Pearson MH, Toth B. The effect of extraction of third molars on late lower incisor crowding: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Orthod. 1998;25:117-122.

6. Becker A, Goultschin J. The multistrand retainer and splint. Am J Orthod. 1984;85:470-474.

7. Oikarinen K. Comparison of the flexibility of various splinting methods for tooth fixation. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1988;17:125-127.

8. Rosenberg ES, Garber DA. A temporary-permanent splint. Refuat Hapeh Vehashinayim. 1979;28:27-30,33-37.

9. Ferreira ZA, de Carvalho EK, Mitsudo RS, et al. Bondable reinforcement ribbon: clinical applications. Quintessence Int. 2000;31:547-552.

10. Sheridan JJ. Incremental removal of bonded lingual retainers. J Clin Orthod. 1988;22:116-117.

11.Kuijpers-Jatman AM, Al Yami EA, van’t Hof MA. Long-term stability of orthodontic treatment. Ned Tijdschr Tandheelkd. [in Dutch] 2000;107:178-181.

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A Six-Month Orthodontic Solution to Space Closure and Bite Collapse

A Six-Month Orthodontic Solution to Space Closure and Bite Collapse

Originally posted on Dentistry Today.

For patients who exhibit missing posterior teeth, bruxism, and a concomitant loss of vertical dimension often commonly occurring with anterior flaring and spacing1 (Figures 1 to 3); mainstream treatment consists of 1.5 to 2 years of orthodontic treatment to retract the anteriors and re-establish the collapsed vertical dimension. This is usually followed by removable retainer wear. It is important to restore the missing posterior support,2 and the patient should be given implants or bridges afterward.


Figures 1 and 2. Note palatal occlusion.
Figure 3. Note attrition.
Figures 4 and 5. Composite bite plane on teeth Nos. 6, 8, 9, and 11 intruded the anteriors and allowed passive eruption of posteriors.
Figure 6. After bridge cementation. Additional whitening procedures were recommended.

A patient who came to our general practice was given this treatment plan by 2 previous dentists with specialists in their offices. Eager to seek other alternatives, she presented for attenuated orthodontic and restorative treatment.
Treatment consisted of short-term, 6-month, fixed-orthodontic treatment by retracting the incisors to their original position before they migrated forward. The collapsed vertical dimension was increased through use of an anterior fixed composite bite plane. This is a flat-planed composite bite plane bonded to the lingual of the upper central incisors3 (Figures 4 to 6), prohibiting full closure. Through lack of posterior occlusion, within 3 to 4 months the posterior teeth exhibited significant passive supra-eruption, even without posterior vertical elastic wear (which may be used as an option to accelerate the process). At the same time, the incisor region is intruded through chewing. This occurs throughout the entire anterior region, as the teeth are essentially “splinted” through the orthodontic wire. In this way, even teeth without the composite bite plane are intruded. The ratio of posterior extrusion to anterior intrusion has been shown to be approximately 60:40.4


Figure 7a and 7b. Before and After.

Secure retention is an essential aspect of this case. Removable retainers are inadequate, as even slight space relapse will be cosmetically obvious; this is likely in an adult patient with fully formed dental arches and some bone loss.5,6 In addition, our practice occupies a niche in treating adults through short-term cosmetic orthodontics,7 and this demographic desires retention that is aesthetic. Furthermore, treatment is orthodontic in these cases and not orthopedic, so the results are less stable, thus requiring fixed retention. A lingual composite splint (Ribbond []), where composite covers most of the tooth’s lingual aspect and can overlap onto the buccal aspect, is preferred. This can serve to augment small teeth, change shape and width by enhancing line angles, fill chips, and restore surfaces with attrition.8
In conjunction with the orthodontic space closure, posterior support must be provided, as the splint will fracture without posterior protection and incisor flaring will return.9 The increased vertical dimension would also be lost, since the posteriors would intrude. If implants are part of this plan, they should be placed before or during orthodontic treatment, not after. This case utilized 3 fixed bridges, helping to correct some mesial drift which may be caused by transseptal fiber contraction.10Temporary bridges were inserted the day the braces were removed, and the splints were placed. Permanent impressions were taken one month later to allow for gingival healing and minor occlusal settling (Figures 7a and 7b).

This treatment approach shows a rapid, straightforward solution for this common functional and aesthetic dental problem, which is frequently treated with a more complicated long-term plan, often prone to relapse.



  1. Kelly JT Jr. A multidisciplinary approach to restoring posterior bite collapse. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 1997;18:483-485,488-490.
  2. Reshad M, Jivraj S. The influence of posterior occlusion when restoring anterior teeth. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2008;36:567-574.
  3. Georgaklis CC. Alternative orthodontic treatment for adult crossbites and overbites. Dent Today. 2001;20:60-63.
  4. Lei Y, Zhang S. Clinical study on the orthodontic treatment of deep overbite with bite plane [in Chinese]. Hunan Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 1998;23:465-466.
  5. Brunsvold MA. Pathologic tooth migration. J Periodontol. 2005;76:859-866.
  6. Martinez-Canut P, Carrasquer A, Magán R, et al. A study on factors associated with pathologic tooth migration. J Clin Periodontol. 1997;24:492-497.
  7. Georgaklis CC. Six-month adult aesthetic orthodontic treatment. Dent Today. 1999;18:110-113.
  8. Georgaklis CC. Anterior retention with a reinforced composite resin splint after cosmetic orthodontic treatment. Dent Today. 2002;21:54-57.
  9. Greenstein G, Cavallaro J, Scharf D, et al. Differential diagnosis and management of flared maxillary anterior teeth. J Am Dent Assoc. 2008;139:715-723.
  10. van Beek H. Dissertation 25 years later. 1. Mesial drift of teeth by occlusal forces [article in Dutch]. Ned Tijdschr Tandheelkd. 2004;111:48-51.
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Adult Orthodontics and a Post-Treatment Bonded Splint: A New Cosmetic Subspecialty

Adult Orthodontics and a Post-Treatment Bonded Splint: A New Cosmetic Subspecialty

Originally posted on

As the field of cosmetic dentistry is still rapidly evolving, we have not yet integrated the various specialties to provide seamless care in a case that requires multiple disciplines. For example, a patient needing orthodontics, crown and bridge or implants, gingival recontouring, orthodontic retention, and bonding will normally be cross-referred between their GP, periodontist, orthodontist, and perhaps an oral surgeon1,2 (4 doctors). While specialists normally provide the highest level of care, there exist certain cases where a “cosmetic subspecialist” may be best suited to create a final result that is harmonized in concept, proportion, and materials.
The following case would often be treated with orthodontics and retainers, and then relapse because of the unusual nature of the case and high tendency to relapse with removable retainers3 regardless of the duration of the orthodontics. The relapse in the anterior segment in adult patients is especially high.4 This patient had 3 missing anterior teeth as well as an impacted canine (Figure 1). Most orthodontists are not accustomed or trained to incorporate significant bonding and reshaping into their treatment plans, so the missing lateral incisors spaces would usually be opened up for implants or 6 units of crown and bridge to provide traditional canine guidance. Yet, there is insufficient bone for an implant for No. 7, and there are alternative treatment options that are simpler, far shorter in duration, and less expensive. Nontraditional thinking is required in this case, especially from an orthodontic perspective, as ideal treatment is most likely impossible.


Figure 1. Patient is missing 3 lateral incisors. Tooth No. 6 was fully impacted in bone before surgical exposure, and was used to substitute for the missing tooth No. 7 through extrusion, mesialization, reshaping, and bonding. Figure 2. Bonding and reshaping was also done to the enamel and gingiva of the bicuspids to make them into canines. The front 6 teeth were splinted and bonded. This case has no implants or bridges.

The patient had been to 3 orthodontists and was looking for treatment alternatives, as all 3 offered 2- to 3-year treatment plans with no promise of a satisfactory result because of bone issues surrounding tooth No. 6, among other things. The patient was not willing to crown all his anterior teeth, which had also been proposed. Our treatment plan involved surgical exposure and super-eruption of tooth No. 6, then making teeth Nos. 6 and 11 into lateral incisors through mesial movement and bonding, making teeth Nos. 5 and 12 into canines, minimizing the lower canine cusps, and connecting all anteriors with a Ribbond/composite splint for stability as well as to support the extra bonding that would be necessary (Figure 2).5
Instead of dividing the treatment by “specialty” and fragmenting the plan with 3 providers, in this way the case may be managed by one practitioner who is experienced in performing splinted retention with concurrent bonding. I previously wrote of a porcelain pontic veneer placed over a Ribbond splint used for orthodontics.6 This case shows how the splint can support significant bonding and provide needed fracture resistance to canines, which are made into laterals, and bicuspids which are made into canines. Equally important is the required fixation, as any relapse would reveal their deficient anatomy and ruin the “camouflage” effect of the bonding. Most orthodontic cases have some degree of relapse, and that would be unacceptable in cases such as this.
This treatment reflects a paradigm shift. Instead of providing a traditional orthodontic result by adding prosthetic lateral incisors, other teeth are moved shorter distances and bonded, providing a faster, simpler, and less expensive result. This is preferable for many patients who are more interested in avoiding gaping holes in their smile than committing to a 2-year treatment plan with endosseous implants. While patients are made aware of treatment alternatives, specifically what will not be provided in this plan, they overwhelmingly choose a method that resolves their chief aesthetic complaint. They are generally satisfied years at recall as well. Should they choose to crown or veneer this result in the future when more stability has been achieved, that option is still available to them.



Reshaping teeth via splinting and bonding is a practical, aesthetic alternative which addresses the high incidence of relapse still seen in orthodontics today. Simultaneously, this can serve to resolve some difficult and unusual aesthetic predicaments.


  1. Chadroff B. The interdisciplinary approach to implant dentistry. Gen Dent. 2004;52:321-326.
  2. Spear FM, Kokich VG, Mathews DP. Interdisciplinary management of anterior dental esthetics. J Am Dent Assoc. 2006;137:160-169.
  3. Hirschfelder U, Hertrich K. The treatment of deep bite in adults. Fortschr Kieferorthop. 1990;51:36-43.
  4. Lang G, Alfter G, Goz G, et al. Retention and stability—taking various treatment parameters into account. J Orofac Orthop. 2002;63:26-41.
  5. Kokich VO Jr, Kinzer GA. Managing congenitally missing lateral incisors. Part 1: Canine substitution. J Esthet Restor Dent. 2005;17:5-10.
  6. Georgaklis CC. Anterior retention with a reinforced composite resin splint after cosmetic orthodontic treatment. Dent Today. Jan 2002;21:54-57.
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Difficult Case Types: Part 2, A Discussion of Adult Short-Term Orthodontics

Difficult Case Types: Part 2, A Discussion of Adult Short-Term Orthodontics

Clear or Invisible braces for adults.

Originally posted on Dentistry Today.

In part 1 of this article, I discussed the evolution and rationale of short-term orthodontics (STO); and how it dovetails with aesthetic dentistry and other disciplines to provide treatment by one provider in a coordinated and timely manner. I briefly discussed issues involving treating patients who present with bruxism, patients who have unrealistic cosmetic demands or obsessive-compulsive disorder, and those personality types who wish to alter or control their treatment plan. Though STO is oriented toward the patient’s aesthetic chief complaint, we must still limit the patient’s involvement in the treatment planning and smile design to meet “real world” expectations.
At the initial consult, it is helpful to provide cosmetic orthodontic patients with before and after pictures of what they may expect, along with a list of what can and cannot be achieved. All common significant questions should be addressed on one’s Web site, in addition to a consultation photo book given to new patients before seating. Actual pictures of one’s own work can be a fair representation of what to expect, providing an honest and direct dialogue that can be very beneficial to both the patient and the provider.
The case types discussed in the second part of this article include interesting aspects of transfer cases, the judicious use of enamel reproximation, cases with particular retention needs, cases with temporomandibular disorders (TMD), large tongues, profile problems, and a complex multidisciplinary case. These difficult case types offer an opportunity to present pearls that can enhance treatment for both STO and conventional orthodontics alike. The greater focus and time per visit required for STO (I prefer one-hour visits) also bring greater reward and satisfaction for both the patient and the provider.

While some believe that they can nonsurgically expand the dental arch through orthodontics in an adult patient, it has been proven that “expansion” (crown tipping in an adult) at past the age of 13 years is not significant, and it is prone to relapse.1Posterior crowns tip to the buccal without significant root translation resulting in an unaesthetic and unstable result also prone to gingival recession.

Figure 1. Patient first came into our office with teeth tipped outward through use of removable expansion appliances. There was sufficient space for alignment, but the roots were in unstable positions with crowns tipped to the buckle. Figure 2. A stable result must maintain arch circumference in an adult patient with the teeth in cortical bone to prevent inward collaspe post-treatment.
Figure 3. Patient presented with narrow incisors due to previous treatment that relied too heavily upon enamel reproximation and scarificed tooth proportion and aesthetic outcome.

Patient in Figure 1 was referred by an orthodontist in Los Angeles for lingual orthodontics. He expanded her for one year with Crozat appliances, leaving sufficient space to align the teeth (Figure 1). At this point, she moved to Boston, where we commenced lingual orthodontic treatment which proceeded smoothly. Brackets were removed with an aesthetic result. However, in the months after completion, the arch form and tooth roots continued to collapse inward. Expansion had spread the teeth laterally into an unstable position outside the cortical bone. The patient needed a brief course of retreatment with enamel reproximation which yielded a far more stable result which has been maintained well (Figure 2).

While the previous case showed an under-reliance on enamel reproximation, this case shows overreliance on it. Lack of flexibility and overreliance on any one treatment modality has its perils, though. The patient in Figure 3 was looking for retreatment despite the fact that her teeth were straight. In order to achieve an ideal occlusion nonextraction by the treating orthodontist, the teeth had been interproximally reduced to the point that they were unaesthetic, lacked embrasure space, and were not self-cleansing. This resulted in unaesthetic tooth proportions and perpetually inflamed papillae. Minor alignment was done along with recontouring. The teeth were shortened to establish better proportion, and embrasure spaces were opened to allow better self-cleansing.

The Class II, Division 2 is a common type of crowding where the upper centrals tip palatally and the laterals flare labially (Figure 4). Aesthetically conspicuous, it is usually a simple case to align dentally with enamel reproximation. These patients do not usually have a profile problem needing orthognathic surgery. As they are fully grown adult patients, skeletal change and complete overjet correction is not usually possible nonsurgically, so the upper central incisors will always tend to relapse palatally. Therefore, this is an ideal case for maxillary lingual splinting of teeth Nos. 7 to 10 or teeth Nos. 6 to 11. Slight overjet allows a durable splint to be placed out of occlusion in a case type that would otherwise be very prone to relapse. Recognizing the instability of cases that have a skeletal component is essential, and this patient’s aesthetics are basically identical today to the result (Figure 5), 12 years after completion, with no noticeable relapse due to her upper and lower lingual fiber-reinforced composite splints (Ribbond).

Figure 4. Adult Class II, Division 2 is very prone to relapse. Figure 5. Splinted result maintained well (at 12-year recall).
Figure 6. Large diastema needing fixed retention. Figure 7. After short-term orthodontics (STO) with splinting.
Figure 8. The 3.5-year recall with fiber-reinforced composite (FRC) (Ribbond) splints. Figure 9. Severely rotated incisor.
Figure 10. This rotation could never be maintained without a splint. Figure 11. Four-year recall with maxillary FRC splint.

Large diastema cases (Figures 6 to 8) also have special retention needs (a maxillary splint), as do severely twisted teeth (Figures 9 and 10). Though it requires overjet be left in the final result, the maxillary splint provides excellent retention, though it can require maintenance. Removable retainers would almost surely fail to retain these particular tooth movements. However, with the maxillary splint, the excellent results were well-retained in both cases at the 3- and 4-year recalls (Figures 8 and 11). Few orthodontists finish cases with the overjet needed to allow for placement of a maxillary splint.

CASE TYPE VII: Temporomandibular Disorder 
This patient was a bruxer whose crowding and anterior recession were worsened by bruxing forward, causing anterior displacement of an upper central incisor (Figure 12). As a prominent cosmetic dentist, he came to Boston for rapid cosmetic orthodontics. The alignment proceeded smoothly with one exception: I allowed the likable dentist-colleague to limit my enamel reproximation in the lower arch. Therefore, my ability to retract the lower incisors and establish sufficient overjet also became limited. Parafunction usually ceases at the beginning of orthodontic treatment, but then returns once the teeth are no longer sore. Once the parafunctional bruxing returned, the upper central (that now had been retracted back) caused a more retrusive and limiting anterior guidance on the mandible (Figure 13). The new incisal guidance brought less freedom of the mandible during bruxing, pushing it backward, so disc compression and tinnitus followed.

Figure 12. Bruxer, before STO, with protruded tooth No. 8 from bruxism. Figure 13. Bruxer, after STO, with normal incisor occlusion.

Our typical treatment method of leaving overjet avoids any retrusive incisor contact on the mandible, and avoids TMD sequelae. The lack of tight anterior coupling in my finished orthodontic cases accounts for the fact that I rarely see TMD in my patients after STO—a remarkable statistic, especially considering occlusal change is not the primary treatment focus. One must be very cautious when leaving a case with the incisors tightly coupled together in occlusion, as any lower incisor relapse or change in jaw position forward may cause disc compression and the pain that may or may not have been poresent beforehand.

Patients with a large tongue often have anterior spacing. The patient’s tongue in Figure 14 already fills the space available and goes to the lingual surfaces of the teeth. While the anterior spacing can be reallocated distal to the canines, the incisors cannot be retracted and maintained inside the neutral zone with long-term stability. The tongue pressure will push the teeth forward unless tongue reduction has occurred. In such cases, we always explain to our patients at the initial consult that space will be redistributed distally to maintain an incisor position that is in harmony with the tongue, instead of a retracted incisor position when the tongue will not allow them to be maintained and would cause relaspe.

There is no STO solution for cases with an unaesthetic facial profile and lip incompetence. This case needed bicuspid extraction because the amount of upper incisor retraction required cannot be done with enamel reproximation alone (Figures 15 and 16).

Figure 14. Large tongue prohibited the retraction of incisors. Figure 15. Bicuspid extraction case with lip incompetence.
Figure 16. After bicuspid extraction treatment. Figure 17. Surgical case that requires a referral to the surgeon-specialist team.
Figure 18. Canine substitution needed for missing upper lateral incisors. Figure 19. Final result; bonded and splinted upper canines and bicuspids without any bridgework or implants.

Even more involved, the skeletal case in Figure 17 clearly needs orthognathic surgery.

This case cannot be done with orthodontics alone (Figures 18 and 19). Treatment involved surgical exposure and bringing down impacted canines throughout one year (still considered STO due to the complexity of the case), as well as splinting with reshaping and bonding. Canine substitution was done for the missing upper laterals incisors. With some creative thinking, this patient avoided any bridgework or implants as this result was achieved solely with orthodontics and bonding. Most patients enjoy a result with greater simplicity, stability, and predictability, while eliminating implant surgery and minimizing treatment time and expense. This type of thinking can bring people back to dentistry, especially adult patients like this with aesthetic problems who have not sought out care sooner due to obstacles inherent in a conventional and more involved treatment plan. Patients opt out of 2-year treatment when there is a shorter plan with proven results.

As dentists, we have a myriad of responsibilities that can make dentistry complex as well as rewarding. Diagnosis and treatment planning, patient management, and retention protocol all vary with a need to understand and accommodate each patient’s teeth and character. Comprehensive 2-year orthodontics may better address more complex cases, but there is also a demand for more rapid orthodontic treatment for the typical adult cosmetic cases.
We must always remember that elective cosmetic dentistry of any type often comes with a human dimension of personal preferences that is often distinctive. These preferences must be understood, addressed, and ideally, satisfied, within the parameters of a healthy and stable long-term result.


  1. Bishara SE, Jakobsen JR, Treder J, et al. Arch width changes from 6 weeks to 45 years of age. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 1997;111:401-409.
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Difficult Case Types, Part 1: A Discussion of Adult Short-Term Orthodontics

Difficult Case Types, Part 1: A Discussion of Adult Short-Term Orthodontics

Six Month Braces for adults.

Originally posted on Dentistry Today.

Short-term orthodontics (STO) has exploded in popularity during the past 10 years. Adults are discovering that they are able to straighten their anterior teeth cosmetically without undergoing 2 years of bite-changing orthodontics, and are enthusiastically seeking out this treatment.
Since I first wrote about “Adult 6-Month Orthodontics” in 1999 for Dentistry Today,1 Ryan Swain (Six Month Smiles) and other general dentists and some orthodontists, have been teaching STO in the United States, Europe, and Australia to enthusiastic audiences. There is good reason for this—orthodontists have not supported a strong case for routinely prescribing 2-year orthodontics with a Class I molar occlusion as its focus. Moreover, the evidence in the literature for the benefits of moving molars already in functional occlusion (except, for example, correction of a posterior edge-edge bite causing attrition) is underwhelming.
Adults do not generally seek orthodontic treatment and wear braces mainly for their molars, and 2-year treatment for profile change is not generally possible nonsurgically in the adult patient. When it is done, profile changes are difficult to retain. Although visits must be longer for STO and retention protocol more stringent, it is a great new service that is bringing many back to dentistry. As Dr. Gordon Christensen stated, “I feel certain that may more people would have orthodontic therapy if it could be simplified and made more acceptable to them as adults….I congratulate you for your innovative and thoughtful approach to the subject” (Dr. Gordon Christensen, personal correspondence in writing, January 4, 2000 and January 29, 2004). A general practice performing this treatment will experience a boon to its periodontic, endodontic, and restorative services, in addition to its bleaching and veneer offerings, as a healthy mouth precedes the healthy smile in treatment planning. This is truly a valuable service to the public.

Orthodontist Jack Sheridan2 pioneered interproximal reduction in the 1970s and promoted chief complaint orthodontics for years. His criteria was: (a) the occlusion is functional and the patient eats comfortably; (b) the patient’s chief complaint is crowded anterior teeth; (c) the crowding can be resolved without expansion and usually air-rotor stripping; (d) treatment time should be minimal, preferably about 6 months; (e) patients understand nighttime retainer wear may be permanent; and (f) patients understand that treatment is aesthetic only in nature (Dr. Jack Sheridan, personal correspondence in writing, June 5, 1997).

The cosmetic dentistry revolution has brought STO to the forefront, and it has become a field all its own. A wide array of problems can be dealt with in a different way when the focus is cosmetic. “Camouflage treatment” can be performed on Class III skeletal patients who decline orthognathic surgery by tipping mandibular incisors into a Class I incisor relation. Slight tipping of maxillary molars can be done in lieu of palatal surgery for the posterior edge to edge bite. Anterior crossbites can be corrected through lower incisor extractions if the patient’s profile is acceptable. As with many difficult cases, there often exist various solutions. With any new treatment approach, though, there also exist certain caveats, areas to watch out for, and pitfalls to avoid.

This article will be a review some of the most difficult cases I have seen during the past 20 years of performing STO on a wide variety of case types. Although there are traditional orthodontists and general dentists who would see this as an opportunity to categorically criticize STO, it is my hope instead that they seek to better understand the treatment, and to realize that it has a place in an array of cosmetic treatment options. Someday, they too may want to consider offering accelerated orthodontic treatment in adult cases that are strictly cosmetic, as it can be a superior and less invasive service than crowning or veneering crowded teeth. It should also be noted that many of the difficulties in the cases presented might have occurred with a longer treatment period.


Severe bruxers who do not wear their nightguard often experience relapse after orthodontics. The patient in Figure 1 underwent STO for anterior space closure and achieved a nice aesthetic and occlusal result. However, retention for bruxers hinges on strict adherence to retainer wear as well as diligent nightguard use. As new abfractions are evident in the recall photo, he did not comply.

Throughout a period of 14 years post-treatment, the patient’s vertical dimension of occlusion (VDO) decreased. Two crowns were done to cover fluorosis. Although the protrusion and diastema did not significantly relapse, the deep bite returned (Figure 2). Though this may also occur in 2-year orthodontic cases, I more thoroughly emphasize strict adherence to nightguard use indefinitely in these cases. I inform bruxers that orthodontics is of minimal or no benefit if they are not prepared for a lifelong commitment to retention. Despite some relapse, he is still a satisfied patient in our practice 14 years later and fully understands the responsibility of retention lies with him through wearing his nightguard-Hawley combination at night.

Figure 1. Preoperative: Before with diastema and deep bite from bruxing. Figure 2. Postoperative: The 14-year recall after 6-month short-term orthodontics (STO). The patient did not wear his nightguard.
Figure 3. Preoperative: Clencher before STO. Figure 4. Postoperative: Clencher, splinted.

Similar to case 1, this patient was splinted and still experienced some relapse of her VDO at recall because of bruxism and limited nightguard wear. However, her alignment was maintained (Figures 3 and 4).

Figure 5 shows another patient who is a severe bruxer with flat plane occlusion. He experienced buccal migration of his upper first bicuspids post completion due to no nightguard wear. This occurred before postorthodontic settling took place, and articulating paper showed these bicuspids more heavily in occlusion than his molars. When he bruxed laterally, the buccal bone (which had not yet solidified) did not resist buccal tipping from the lateral forces on these teeth during parafunction.
Rarely is every tooth in complete occlusion postorthodontics, even with comprehensive treatment. Bruxers and clenchers usually experience more rapid post-treatment settling with more complete interdigitation than nonbruxers. But when the patient is a severe bruxer, selective migration may occur, especially if this is a flat plane occlusion with no cusps. This patient was rebracketed for 2 months before having a complete occlusion equilibration at the day of debracketing. Nightguard wear was strictly emphasized and the final result was stable.


Another case type to watch for is the cosmetic patient who wants to dictate the treatment plan. While it is tempting to want to “please” a cosmetic patient, as it is an elective procedure after all, forging into a new area or performing a procedure with which you have less experience means less predictability in the final result. Doing this on patients who have exacting personalities and have a specific end result in mind further increases the risks involved. As with the bruxer category, patients like this can be red flags in cosmetic dentistry. These patients often start out with enthusiasm and seem to grasp the nuances of cosmetic dentistry, understanding the details of smile design. We may feel on the same page as these individuals who share our love for cosmetic excellence, and this makes dentistry fun. But when enthusiasm morphs into unrealistic expectations of perfection, and the patient cannot fully understand that there are limitations, difficulties may arise. Do we always know exactly what end result can and cannot be achieved? Are computer simulations really honest predictors of the end result, and should we depend on them to be accurate in every case? In a perfect world, we could predict all contingencies as well as the final result. But unless one has done every possible case type on every possible personality type with the various biologic limitations, there is no way anyone can predict the myriad of possibilities which may arise in every cosmetic case.


Case 1
This first case involves a simple level and alignment type orthodontic case with a slight open bite (Figure 6). Toward the end of treatment, though, the patient decided she also wanted anterior bonding to change her basic tooth shape from round to square. She brought in close-up photos of a famous American supermodel, and wanted her teeth to resemble this model’s smile. These teeth are square, slightly flared forward, and appear wider at the incisal than at the height of contour, usually the widest part of the tooth. When the patient presented for treatment, there was no indication her preferences were so specific. At this point in treatment, we are “married” to our patient, and separation is unfulfilling for both patient and dentist. After treatment, retention and incisal bonding were combined with a composite-Ribbond splint (Figure 7).3

Figure 5. Preoperative: Bruxer with flat plane
Figure 6. Preoperative: STO with open bite.
Figure 7. Postoperative (after STO): Patient requested long square teeth like a famous supermodel she admired. Figure 8. Preoperative (before STO): Patient recently completed Invisalign treatment in another office.
Figure 9. Postoperative to short-term lingual orthodontics with custom requests. Patient wanted his centrals to be longer and a bit more protrusive and brought in a photograph of a famous actor’s teeth to copy. Figure 10. Preoperative: before STO.

The splint helps to support more durable lengthening of the incisal edges, often done with porcelain veneers. While the orthodontics went smoothly, the final step of aesthetic bonding and recontouring was tedious and difficult.

Case 2
This patient had not long before completed Invisalign treatment elsewhere with acceptable results, but had very specific requests and a particular mental picture of how he wanted his teeth aligned and shaped. I was hesitant to take the case, as his alignment was already fairly good (Figure 8). A chief complaint list was made at the initial consult and twice reviewed with the patient. He chose lingual braces, the most difficult to control. He was advised that we may need to do some finishing with labial brackets in the final weeks. During treatment, his requests grew even more specific and he brought numerous hand-drawn sketches and a picture of a famous American actor’s smile to copy. More frequent visits were required, but the teeth were aligned in 4 months to his specifications, like this actor’s smile, with the upper centrals slightly protruding and longer (Figure 9). The patient completed treatment very happy with the result, but it is still risky to accept this case type knowing the patient has such a specific result in mind.

Case 3
This patient had become addicted to cosmetic surgery at a young age. At the consult, he expressed his dissatisfaction with his plastic surgeon despite what seemed were good results. Because his occlusion, crowding, and tooth morphology were so unaesthetic, it seemed that significant aesthetic improvement would not be difficult (Figure 10). However, the patient had numerous specific demands, including exact measurements for the lateral incisor veneers done after Figure 11. The final results were excellent but, again, the process difficult due to specific requests.

Figure 11. After STO, but before porcelain veneers on teeth Nos. 7 and 10. Figure 12. The patient had central incisors extracted at a young age, before conventional 2-year orthodontics.
Figure 13. After distalizing lateral incisors. Figure 14. After retreatment with laterals brought back to mesial and 4 splinted crowns.


To what extent do we try to please the patient? Figure 12 shows a patient who had orthodontics at age 13 years. Due to protrusive maxillary central incisors, the orthodontist decided to extract them and move laterals into the centrals’ position. With relapse, the spacing and recession is highly conspicuous. A simple treatment plan was given to consolidate the space through space closure and to provide 4 splinted crowns. When treatment began, however, the patient decided he wanted to re-establish the space for the missing central incisors to have a natural complement of teeth. As this was a patient in his 40s, the bone was not malleable. When space was established and a temporary bridge placed (Figure 13), there was slight overjet. Although I have before left overjet to provide space for a maxillary lingual splint without patient objection, this particular patient was not comfortable with his new incisor position forward. He felt that his maxillary incisal edges were noticeable, at times touching on his lower lip, although there was no deep bite. I referred him to a board-certified prosthodontist who felt there was nothing wrong with the bridge and that he could not improve significantly on the result. After a hiatus, the decision was made to retreat the case (at no change) and follow the original plan; consolidate the incisor space, and place splinted crowns. The end result satisfied the patient, and was more aesthetic, but the circuitous route there was difficult and spanned 4.5 years (Figure 14).

Bruxers, patients with obsessive compulsive disorder, and patients who alter their treatment plan represent challenging cases even when one is prepared for them and has treated similar cases previously. This is because no 2 orthodontic cases are ever identical when one considers the complete aesthetic, biologic, and interpersonal picture. We can only diligently try to consider all contingencies.


Treating such a variety of cases makes aesthetic orthodontics fascinating. Specialty orthodontic training often has a different focus which does not always encompass the adjunctive cosmetic dimension and adult psychological aspect central to success in some of these adult cosmetic cases. Furthermore, patients do not always afford us the 2 years of treatment time often needed to cross-refer across specialties and follow the traditional channels from decades past. As we listen more to our patients, the future of adult orthodontics is finally evolving, becoming a distinct area and more integrated with cosmetic dentistry.

In part 2 of this article, I will discuss transfer cases, improper use of enamel reproximation, cases with special retention needs, temporomandibular disorder sequelae, large tongues, problem profiles, and multidisciplinary cases that have unique challenges which fall out of the norm of traditional orthodontic cases.


  1. Georgaklis CC. Six-month adult aesthetic orthodontic treatment. Dent Today. 1999;18:110-113.
  2. Sheridan JJ, Ledoux PM. Air-rotor stripping and proximal sealants. An SEM evaluation. J Clin Orthod. 1989;23:790-794.
  3. Georgaklis CC. Anterior retention with a reinforced composite resin splint after cosmetic orthodontic treatment.
  4. ‘;. 2002;21:54-57.
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Wearing Braces Back to School

Wearing Braces Back to School

It’s that time of year again when students of all ages are going back to school. Children start a new grade and adults may be beginning a new career path. In either situation, the first day of school can be nerve-wracking. This feeling can intensify if you recently were told you needed braces. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying your first day back to school! Dr. Georgaklis offers many alternative options to help you feel more confident. And he has even revolutionized the practice with his Rapid Braces method — most patients can be treated in just six months.

Here are two options for hiding those braces from your new friends at school:

Clear Braces:

The most cost effective way of hiding your braces is with clear braces. Dr. Georgaklis recommends clear braces to many patients because they are cost effective and provide great results in a short period of time. Some patients would rather consider clear retainers like Invisalign, but these don’t use the same force as real braces do. They sit over your teeth, instead of attached to them, which makes them less effective and require more treatment time.


Lingual Braces:

Lingual braces, otherwise known as “invisible braces,” are braces attached to the inside of your tooth (tongue side) — hidden from view! This option is popular amongst adults who want straight teeth but don’t want to deal with braces. Once un place, these braces work just like regular ones. These are a better option than Invisalign because Dr. G will have full control over teeth movement and maintenance. Plus, they don’t need to be replaces like the retainers for Invisalign do.

Dr. G works with every patient on a personal basis. He will meet with you for an initial consultation to hear your concerns, talk about budget and other options. Whether you’re going back to school, starting a new job or just afraid to have braces, Dr. G will make sure you feel confident in his hands! Contact us today to get started on your new smile!


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Invisalign Alternatives

Keep a Clear Smile When You Go Back to School

It’s that time of year again when students of all ages are going back to school. Children start a new grade and adults may be beginning a new career path. In either situation, the first day of school can be nerve-wracking. This feeling can intensify if you recently were told you needed braces. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying your first day back to school! Dr. Georgaklis offers many alternative options to help you feel more confident. And he has even revolutionized the practice with his Rapid Braces method — most patients can be treated in just six months.

Here at Rapid Braces, we offer a variety of options aimed to match the customers direct needs. Dr Georgaklis specializes in fitting the customer with not only a fast option, but a cosmetically appealing one. We understand that Invisalign is not cut out for everyone’s budget or natural mold. The expert staff at Rapid Braces offer a variety of options that give the patient the power to select a method that works with their budget and ideal time frame.  We offer lingual (behind the teeth braces), along with the option of clear front braces with invisible brackets and wires.

Lingual Braces 

Lingual braces, are behind the teeth braces, meaning that the brackets, wires and cement are placed on the tongue side of your mouth leaving your smile untouched. This option is popular amongst adults who want straight teeth but don’t want to show off their braces. Lingual, ‘incognito,’ braces do not require the timely maintenance and management of  a series of plastic retainers like Invisalign, and are even said to be more discrete. Once in place, these braces work just like regular ones. These are a better option than Invisalign because Dr. G will have full control over teeth movement and maintenance. Plus, they don’t need to be replaces like the retainers for Invisalign do.


Clear Braces 

Cleveland Circle Dental Associates offer a clear braces option, where the brackets and wires are see through and subtle. This option is much more affordable than Invisalign, and can be completed at a faster rate. Dr. Georgaklis recommends clear braces to many patients because they are cost effective and provide great results in a short period of time. Some patients would rather consider clear retainers like Invisalign, but these don’t use the same force as real braces do. They sit over your teeth, instead of attached to them, which makes them less effective and require more treatment time.

Dr. G works with every patient on a personal basis. He will meet with you for an initial consultation to hear your concerns, talk about budget and other options. Whether you’re going back to school, starting a new job or just afraid to have braces, Dr. G will make sure you feel confident in his hands! Contact us today to get started on your new smile!


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Clear Orthodontics Options for Adults

Adults Can Have Straight Teeth with Clear Braces

clear orthodontics brookline

At Rapid Braces, we treat many patients who want straight teeth but can’t stand the idea of being seen wearing braces. These patients are most often adults who missed out on visiting an orthodontist when they were younger. Wearing traditional braces can make anyone feel uncomfortable in social situations and long treatment times can be difficult to manage.

Luckily there are new orthodontic treatment methods for adults looking for straight teeth today. Rapid Braces offers clear braces alternatives that are easy to keep hidden. Our 6 Month Braces treatment is one of the fastest ways to straighten your teeth available. The expert staff at Rapid Braces understands that many of our patients have busy schedules and do our best to be accommodating. The Rapid Braces 6 Month Braces treatment has been completed in 6 months or less by more than 90% of our patients.

Clear Braces for Adults

There are a number of braces options to choose from at Rapid Braces. Clear braces have clear bands and brackets so they will almost be invisible on top of your teeth. Clear braces are put on by an orthodontist the same way as traditional braces but blend in with your teeth while they are worn. Another popular choice among Brookline orthodontic patients are lingual braces. Lingual braces aren’t transparent like clear braces but they are put behind the teeth so they can only be seen by an orthodontist. Lingual braces position on the inside of your teeth offers great control over how your teeth are aligned.

The best way to get straight teeth in 6 months or less at Rapid Braces is to schedule a consultation. Dr. G can get a good look at how your teeth are aligned at the consultation and present a plan for orthodontic treatment. After the initial meeting you can take your time to decide whether adult orthodontic treatment at Rapid Braces is right for you.

Schedule a Brookline Orthodontic Consultation Today

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Braces for Adults

A bright and straight smile can help anyone feel more confident in their appearance. Many individuals are able to undergo orthodontic treatment when they are younger. Starting orthodontic treatment at an earlier age is a great way to get a perfect smile for life but for some people that isn’t an option. 65% of adults do not have well-aligned front teeth. At Rapid Braces in Brookline, however, we use a number of different adult cosmetic orthodontic treatment techniques that make it easier for adults to get braces.

braces for adults

Rapid Braces offers a number of braces treatment options so adults can undergo their treatment discretely. Wearing braces makes many individuals feel very subconscious to the point that they will avoid social interactions. We have clear braces, lingual braces and invisalign treatments available so you can get a perfect smile without having to worry about showing off your teeth. Clear braces use clear brackets and bands so they blend in with your teeth. Lingual braces are put behind the teeth instead of in front so they cannot be seen. Invisalign utilizes clear plastic alignment plates that are worn over the teeth and must be remade every so often for further teeth straightening.

Another advantage that undergoing adult cosmetic orthodontic treatment at Rapid Braces has is our speedy treatment time. Dr. Georgaklis is able to complete 90% of his patients’ cases within 6 months using his Rapid Braces technique. He does this by putting an emphasis on the finished result. Doing this allows him to save precious time on the entire treatment and have his patients leave his office with perfect smiles faster. Treatment time is a big reason why many adults do not undergo orthodontic treatment and Rapid Braces is aiming to change that.

Schedule an appointment at Rapid Braces to learn more about how we’re making braces for adults easier than ever. We understand the obstacles that get in the way of adults starting cosmetic orthodontic treatment. With our expert staff, getting your braces treatment complete in 6 months or less is a real possibility. Check out the 6 month braces case photos here to see the results that our orthodontic work can get.

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