Problem With Protruding Incisor And Essix

My ortho recommended I do upper arch only n added "our teeth get crowded as we age". I assume he said that coz he saw my lower incisor stickin out but Id never noticed so went along with whatever he said. Towards end of my Tx, I noticed the incisor was protruding badly n I asked my ortho about it n he made an adjusted Essix 4 me. He was very reluctant to fix the problem n now the incisor looks intruded. Is it possible that he made the adjusted Essix so badly that it forced my tooth towards bone?

Doctor Answers 2

Moving Teeth with Essix Retainers

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I use Essix retainers on about 80% of my patients and love them. They are perfect for what they are intended... RETAINING! To "retain" means "to hold," and Essixs retainers do a pretty good job of holding the teeth after they are moved. They are not as good as moving teeth. Some would have you believe that Essix retainers can move teeth like Invisalign aligners since they are both clear plastic. The invisalign system is a complex, thoroughly tested treatment technique that uses tooth colored "attachments" bonded to teeth that require certain movements. Extrusion is one of these movements. Although your orthodontist was "giving it the old college try," precise movements without side effects (like intrusion) are not possible with Essix retainers alone. If you feel the alignment of your teeth still needs work after this attempt with Essix, talk to your orthodontist about taking your treatment a step further. Seems like the most efficient way would be six brackets and a small wire for a couple of visits... quick, predictable, and cheaper than Invisalign for such a small movement.

Albuquerque Orthodontist

A bad essix?? or not??

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To reiterate your case facts, you went through treatment, your lower teeth were crowded, after treatment they were no longer crowded but flared. You discussed this with the ortho, reluctantly he made you one Essex retainer with a set-up????

A set-up is where a mold is taken and the teeth are moved on the model then the retainer(Essex) is made to the model. The Essex then is typically warn 20 hrs a day for a period to achieve the final detail change.

If that is correct, it is very unlikely that he made the Essex so badly to intrude your teeth. There are several things that could have occurred. 1) a chipped tooth on the model not caught 2) distortion in the impression 3) inconsistent wear 4) too much movement attempted in the Essex 5) not enough IPR (interproximal reduction).


Clearly you can look at your pictures now and finish and see that one tooth is shorter than the rest. Best bet is to discuss it with the doctor. He won't want you out there like that, if anything on his end caused it.

Jacqueline Demko, DDS, MSD
Chesterfield 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.