Q. Can I get braces even after I did not use retainers after getting braces previously?

Answered by
Dr. Mayank Khandelwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 14, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have misaligned teeth as I had not used a retainer after using braces 16 years ago. Yesterday, the orthodontist informed me that I am not a selective patient for braces because of some root canal treatments I had. I have been told that it may shorten the roots of teeth. I have had three extractions and several root canal treatments. I am so disappointed. Should I visit another orthodontist? I also do not want false hopes. Would you please give me your opinion on this?

Thank you.



Welcome to

Thanks for writing in, and I understand your concern. Braces treatment may cause root resorption that shortens roots but does not occur in all cases. In my opinion, root resorption can reverse and resolve over time if detected early, and not all cases show the shortening of roots. If your teeth have roots away from each other and fewer forces are applied, there will be very little chance of root resorption. Not all teeth are prone to root resorption. It also depends on how well you take care of your oral cleanliness. Not all root resorption is under the severe category to shorten roots. Only about 2 % of cases experience so. There are several factors to be looked upon before concluding. You can have orthodontics treatment with a regular check on bone and root conditions if the doctor suspects root resorption. If signs are found for resorption, you can have two options depending on which tooth shows the signs.

1. Tooth with root canal treatment

a. Stop treatment for a while and resume after 4 to 6 months.

b. Continue treatment as it is with fewer forces and re-evaluate. On completion of treatment, if required, re-root canal treatment of the tooth.

c. End ortho treatment till the point of whatever changes we have achieved.

2. Tooth without root canal treatment

a. Regulary check for bone and root conditions.

b. Lesser forces can be applied.

c. Pause orthodontic treatment for a while.

d. Resume once resorption reverses.

In my opinion, it is not in the severe category. In either case, you can have orthodontic treatment if well planned. It would be more insightful to have a look at your current orthopantomogram (OPG) as well as intraoral radiographs if you can provide them to give you more detailed information.

Thank you.

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