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treatment time tends to be less for patients who haven’tencountered any breakage or damage to their appliancesthroughout treatment. Thus, the length of appointmentdepends on the patient’s cooperation.Posttreatment AppointmentsWhen the braces are removed, active treatment is usuallycomplete unless some tooth movement needs to occur withretainers. Even though patients think treatment is over, it’sreally not. The teeth need to become settled into their newlystraightened positions. This is allowed to occur without toothmovement by the placement of a retainer, which holds theteeth in their straightened position. The patient is checkedshortly after the retainer is placed, ensuring proper comfortand fit of the retainer appliance. Generally these appointmentsare short, perhaps 15 to 20 minutes depending on whetherminor or major adjustments to the appliance are necessary.Often no adjustments are needed, and the patient is instructedto wear it full time until the doctor deems nighttime-onlywear would be sufficient.Patients are asked how well they’re doing with the appliance,how many hours per day they’re wearing it, and/or howmany hours a day they’re not wearing it. If patients aren’tcompliant, they’re asked why and told of the risks they’retaking by not wearing it properly. Their teeth may move to aDental Specialties 2: Pediatric Dentistry/Orthodontics50
Dental Specialties 2: Pediatric Dentistry/Orthodontics51crooked position once again. If compliance is a problem, it’sprudent to bring in the parents or guardians of the adoles-cent or child at this point. Even though the parents may benoncompliant as well, it’s a good idea to have a conversationin front of the patient to discuss overall dental health andthe reason orthodontics and straight teeth are beneficial tothe patient.The setups necessary for posttreatment appointments gener-ally consist of a mirror and explorer, a three-prong plier, abird beak, and floss (Figure 14).Before you go on to learn about tooth movement principles,please take the time to complete Self-Check 3.FIGURE 14—PosttreatmentSetup (Courtesy of ZieglerOrthodontics)
Dental Specialties 2: Pediatric Dentistry/Orthodontics52Self-Check 3Fill in the blanks for the following questions.1. Mesioclusion, or Class III, refers to _______.2. The acronym FID stands for _______.3. The three dimensions in which the orthodontist examines the patient are _______,_______, and _______.4. Webster’s dictionary definition of occlusion is _______.5. Angle’s Classification is determined by the relation of the _______ cusp of the _______first molar to the _______ of the _______first molar.6. Orthodontic treatment that stops problems from occurring is called _______.7. Orthodontic treatment that corrects developing problems is called _______.Check your answers with those on page 101.
Dental Specialties 2: Pediatric Dentistry/Orthodontics53TOOTH MOVEMENT PRINCIPLESIt’s important for the assistant to understand how teeth arestraightened in orthodontics—to know what really happensin moving teeth from their crooked positions into straighterand better aligned positions.