Possible complications with orthodontic treatments – what to do?


The best orthodontic treatments can turn into complicated processes at times, depending on the severity of the case.

Done right, they can cure many common orthodontic problems such as malocclusions and craniofacial abnormalities, by ensuring proper alignment of the teeth and a harmonious jaw relationship, which may improve mastication, phonation, facial aesthetics and even offer beneficial effects on the general and oral health, individual’s comfort and self-esteem.

But what can possibly go wrong?

– Oral hygiene plays a vital rôle in any successful dental and orthodontic treatment. Cleaning your teeth while wearing braces, ensuring food particles are properly removed in these areas, is key and if neglected, dental plaque will accumulate, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

– In some cases, patients can experience an allergic reaction to latex of the elastics or rubber bands used by the orthodontist. Many dental practices use latex-free elastics to reduce allergy risks, but if the patient isn’t aware of their allergy, it can cause complications.

– During orthodontic treatment, the direct contact of gingiva and mucosa with brackets, bands, tubes and wires may cause soft tissue alterations.

– Root resorption or root shortening has been observed while wearing braces.

– If the patient’s dental hygiene is not adequate, a decalcification appears on their teeth in the form of white spots and cavities can quickly form if food and plaque are not removed on a regular basis.

– Discoloration present after bracket removal may have an impact on the final aesthetic result, but can be solved as frequently the patient wishes to improve their appearance by teeth whitening.

– Periodontal complications during the treatment and after the braces removal are one of the most actual side effects linked to the orthodontic treatment, if the patient’s hygiene is not as recommended by the orthodontist.

– Your age might influence your treatment, as the teeth can move faster with younger people.

– Your teeth might look realigned, but the bite may not be in the right position yet. This will extend the treatment period.

– Depending on the complexity of the orthodontic problem, the issues identified at the beginning of treatment, can contribute to a protracted treatment. If the problems are not easily corrected and more complex than initially obvious, the orthodontic treatment will take longer.  

– In some cases the patient’s teeth are simply not responding to treatment as quickly as originally expected.

–Additional orthodontic issues might surface during the treatment and more steps will be required to achieve the best results.

Can these orthodontic complications be avoided ?

The majority of orthodontic complications or risks are usually associated with oral hygiene and pre-existing conditions. Any orthodontist will advise the patient during the first assessment whether they are a good candidate for the orthodontic treatment. They will also offer guidance on how to keep their teeth and gums healthy while undergoing orthodontic treatment and provide them with specific toothbrushes, pastes or other useful dental tools.

So, trust your orthodontist and educate yourself about the best ways to make your orthodontic treatment a success.