Not Happy with Results from Braces. After Treatment Tried a Tooth Positioner and Now a Hawley Retainer? (photo)

It's been 4 years later and I still do not have my "desired" results. My braces were removed 12-months ago and I was given a tooth positioner to fix any imperfections, I wore it for 6-months and still didn't achieve teeth that lined up. I was then given a Hawley retainer to wear and have had 3 adjustments in the past 6-months. My lower canine is starting to rotate and my upper and lower incisors are still not lined up. What's my next step? Ortho makes me feel like I'm seeking unrealistic results

Doctor Answers 3

Good enough?

Orthodontists can put teeth in almost anyplace they want....but teeth have a mind of their own and will settle a little (or a lot) in retention.

Your teeth look good to me....only YOU see the imperfections...nobody else notices.  You need to stop fixating on your teeth (understandable after all that you've gone through) and enjoy the great smile you have!

Saint Louis Orthodontist

Perhaps "good enough" needs to be decided

The photos listed show very straight teeth.  Perhaps your goals are unrealistic, as braces are very good at large movements, but micromovements are hard to achieve and even harder to maintain (you may get them but for only a short time; teeth move a "little bit" after braces).


Often we suggest porcelain veneers as a way of finding "perfect" but often if your goals are so "microscopic" even veneers may not be good enough.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Options for Mild Improvements

It is important that there is clear communication with your orthodontist about what can and cannot be achieved.  Looking at the pictures, it seems that some mild improvements might yet be possible by wearing your custom tooth positioner 24/7 for a minimum of one week; "chewing it" regularly during the day.  Since you've moved on to Hawley retainers, returning to the positioner should be under the supervision of your orthodontist.  If the retainers are being worn 24/7 and no improvement noted, then it may be time to bite the bullet and opt for some minor re-treatment with braces if suggested by your doc.

Steven Jay Bowman, DMD, MSD
Portage Orthodontist
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.