Gaps Remaining After Orthodontic Treatment

I had an incomplete orthodontic treatment when I was younger. Im in my 20s n I had another orthodontic treatment to complete it (there were gaps n 1 tooth wasn't angled properly). The ortho recommended that I do the upper arch only, n I took the braces off a few months ago n I still have 2 slight gaps EVEN after putting veneers on. Is this normal? I've been finding that my orthodontist is an extreme minimalist, and I find it ridiculous because I got braces on again because I wanted it perfect.

Doctor Answers 4

Closing the Gaps

Often there is a tooth sixe to arch size discrepancy in the anterior teeth.  This means that some of the teeth, often only  front four teeth are not large enough to fit the arch space (width of the jaw) that they have to cover.  When we know that the front four teeth are undersized relative to the space they need to occupy we usually have two choices - 1) leave a space behinf the lateral incisors as your picture seems to show or 2) plan to spread the teeth evenly in the areea and then close the spaces with veneers or bonding.  I prefer veneers over bonding.

Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

More information needed

There are a few reasons for the result you showed pictures of and more inforrmation is needed to give you an honest answer for your issue.  If you had teeth extracted, you may now have excess room that the orthodontist distributed behind you incisors rather than behind your canines where it wouldnt be as noticeable.  If no extractions were performed, you may have what is called and arch size discrepancy where your teeth are small compared to the curve of your arch, leaving you with spaces once the teeth are aligned.  If your teeth are flared, this may cause the spacing and simply by retracting them the spaces may close.  My best advice is to seek a second opinion from a board certified orthodontist to see what the actual cause is for your spacing.

Gary Nack, DDS
Philadelphia Dentist

Final thought

You wont get any better answers than what you read above this one. The only think I can think to add as a potential cause if YOUR TONGUE. Again, assuming you have all your adult teeth, your orthodontitst was thorough, you "occlusion" was solid and roots straight, no tooth size discrepancy, no additional funny jaw growth your tongue could be your answer.

You should google tongue thrust. The tongue is a very powerful muscle, working all day long, even while we are at rest. If your tongue is a factor a little bit of knowledge can eliminate it's influence and sometimes spaces will close with out further treatment.

Jacqueline Demko, DDS, MSD
Chesterfield Orthodontist

Braces and Gaps

There are many reasons why you might have gaps at the end of treatment or that might develop after treatment. Your teeth might be different sizes (the lower teeth wider than the upper so spaces can't be closed completely). Your jaws might be different sizes so that spaces might be necessary for uppers to overlap lower. The tip of the teeth also can affect spacing at the end of treatment. As for spaces that develop long after treatment, there is a tendency for crowding to develop in the lower arch and spacing in the upper as we get older. The bite settles, wears, and deepens causing these changes. If you have space that can be closed orthodontically, just remember that keeping them closed is a life-long pursuit. If you have spaces that cannot be closed orthodontically, having the spaces closed with veneers or buildups is a faster, more stable option. I did not have teeth removed as part of my orthodontic treatment 35 years ago and did not have spaces for the next 20 years. Recently however, spaces have appeared between some of my top teeth too (along with my eyes getting weaker and my hair thinner). I'm not crazy about the changes, but I realize they are normal.

Greg Jorgensen, DMD, MS
Albuquerque Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.