William_StephensBy William Stephens, DDS, Westlake Village, Calif

The position of each tooth plays an important role in the health and maintenance of the dentition. When a case presents a malpositioned molar due to premature tooth loss, molar uprighting is necessary for the successful outcome of your restorative treatment.

SML_StephensImageMolar uprighting can be accomplished using either a fixed or removable orthodontic approach. Fixed appliances have the obvious advantage of not being completely dependent upon the patient actually electing to wear the appliance to ensure success. While most practitioners find removable appliances easier to use, these appliances afford much less control over tooth movement. Whether fixed or removable appliance, adjustments should be scheduled every 3 to 4 weeks.

Proper appliance selection and application requires a clear and thorough diagnosis and treatment plan. A regular maintenance program should be instituted to prevent inflammation and crestal bone loss. Also, post-uprighting stabilization is needed to prevent relapse.