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A 44-year-old member asked:

my orthodontist didn't make a molding on my teeth, but still put the braces on. should i be concerned?

12 doctor answers22 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronald Achong
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 18 years experience
Not sure: There is technology available that can take computerized molds of your mouth without the need for taking actual physical molds. Maybe this is what your orthodontist did or maybe molds were taken and you were unaware. Ask your orthodontist.
Dr. Ryan Tamburrino
Specializes in Orthodontics
I don't know: It depends on their methodology for how they diagnosed your bite and how they came up with a plan to fix it. I would ask them why or why not they would take models of somebody's teeth prior to treatment.
Dr. Anthony Togrye
Orthodontics 31 years experience
Depends on your case: Not necessarily. The typical practice for years has been to obtain orthodontic models for every case prior to the start of treatment. With the advent of new digital radiography as well as digital photography some orthodontist choose not to take models. In my practice i continue to obtain models in addition to the digital photos and radiographs. .
Dr. Gary Chapman
Orthodontics 35 years experience
No: Models of teeth are becoming much less useful as digital technology is integrated into treatment.
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctoranswered
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No: With the advent of newer digital imaging technology and the quality of our diagnostic records it is very common for a normal orthodontic case to forego the plaster models. It is a matter of personal choice for each doctor, but it is not "wrong". I still use models for very complicated or surgical cases. I predict that within 5-7 years it will be phased out altogether. Such is progress!
Dr. Robert Stoner
Orthodontics 38 years experience
Won't be phased out as long as the art of diagnosis is not replaced by technology. A 3 dimensional physical model will never be replaced by 2 dimensional imaging. That said, monetary constraints and mass production and loss of individualized treatment plans is the general direction of the practice today.
Apr 21, 2013
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctor commented
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Provided original answer
Dr. Stoner, you know me as a straight shooter, and I do adhere to the practice of taking models when I believe it will aid in my diagnostic process. In the last decade I have come to believe that except for these few case types, it does not change my plan of treatment nor my final diagnosis. I also believe that if it helps you or any other ethical orthodontist, by all means keep to your protocol; as it has served you well for 30 years.
Apr 21, 2013
Dr. S. jay Bowman
Orthodontics 36 years experience
Just ask: Although study models are typically taken as part of the diagnostic process; however, there may be a specific reason they were not done in your case. Just ask the orthodontist to see what those reasons were in your case.
Dr. Robert Stoner
Orthodontics 38 years experience
Yes: According to the american board of orthodontics to accurately diagnose a case, models or digital models are required. Cephalometric radiographs with tracing and analysis is also necessary as well as a panoramic radiograph. Photos of the face smiling, lips closed, and profile are also necessary, as are photos of the teeth biting and pictures of the biting surfaces of the top and bottom teeth.
Dr. Shyam Desai
Orthodontics 13 years experience
No: Initial molds are for his records and diagnosis. He likely diagnosed your malocclusion by looking in your mouth rather than taking molds. Don't be concerned about this.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
I would only be concerned if your Orthodontic Treatment was being done by a non-specialist. A University trained orthodontic Specialist will pick and choose the diagnostic testing to be done that best provides diagnostic information about your particular problem. As long as the practitioner treating you is a qualified specialist, who does nothing but Orthodontics, I would not be concerned.
Apr 22, 2013
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Not necessarily: Assuming that you are seeing a qualified orthodontist who only does ortho rx, i would not be concerned. Orthodontic study models are required as part of any orthodontic evaluation, but the orthodontist may have done digital models by scanning images of your teeth into a computer.
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
No: They likely have photos and x-rays and may have even taken a digital mold (newer technology). You can ask them why, but i would not be concerned.
Dr. Manuel Sousa
Orthodontics 46 years experience
Probably not.: Normal protocol is to make a mold to diagnose the orthodontic problems and have a record of the starting point. However if there are adequate photos and the ortho issues are mild or minimal there should not be a problem.
Dr. Gregory Johnson
Specializes in Orthodontics
Ortho study models: The standard of care for a complete evaluation of your teeth when considering comprehensive orthodontic treatment includes study models accomplished with the "molding of your teeth.". Perhaps your condition was so simple as to not require a comprehensive evaluation.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Two other question come to mind. Are you seeing an Orthodontic Specialist or a General Dentist for your treatment? If your seeing an Orthodontist did he/she do a scanning of your teeth to create digital models? Ask your practitioner why no models.
Apr 5, 2014

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What should I do about bent wires on my braces? I bent the wire between my two bottom front teeth and it hurts a bit. Do i need to get in an see my orthodontist right away?

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The : The sooner the better. The wire guides the way the teeth move, and that was set up by the orthodontist at your last visit. If the wire is bent, it may put forces on the teeth that will move your teeth the wrong way, causing them to become crooked again and making your treatment last longer. Call for an appointment right away.
A 48-year-old member asked:

Orthodontist ready for my braces to come off, but front teeth are still awful. Can i keep them on longer?

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Dr. Stuart Hoffman
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Depends: If your orthodontist feels the braces are ready to be removed, but you don't like your front teeth, have a conference with him/her. There are other reasons for braces to be removed pre-maturely. One is excessive root resorption. If progress x-rays show extensive root resorption, it is best to remove the braces rather than risk loosing the teeth.
A 32-year-old member asked:

Orthodontist ready for my braces to come off, but front teeth are still awful. Anything i can do?

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
Discuss with Ortho: You should discuss this with your orthodontist prior to your braces coming off. We have no way of knowing what you started off with, the course of events during your treatment and what your teeth look like now. You are entitled to ask that question and receive a reasonable explanation.
A 42-year-old member asked:

Can you explain how do orthodontist treat teeth crowding with braces; besides extracting teeth?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Manami Yamaguchi
Dentistry 25 years experience
Force: Teeth move by responding to a light, constant force. This is because the bone remodels by losing itself to make space for the tooth to move into, and filling in more in the space where the tooth moved out of. Very small implants may be placed as an anchoring device to move teeth also. Any pushing or pulling creates force, and that is how teeth move to more ideal position.

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Last updated Apr 7, 2020

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