Can Braces Push a Long Tooth Further into the Gums?
Braces can move teeth both horizontally and vertically although horizontal tooth movement is much more common. If a patient has a deep bite, whereby the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth, or if one of a patient's teeth is longer than it should be, using braces to move the teeth vertically can correct these dental issues.
Vertical tooth movement is referred to as orthodontic intrusion and can be carried out using either traditional braces, or a removable appliance such as Invisalign. However, moving teeth vertically is challenging for a number of reasons.
Orthodontic Intrusion Requires Less Force
Unlike other types of tooth movement, which could require up to 150 grams of force, pushing teeth further into the gums uses very little force, as little as 15-25 grams. If too much force is applied, there is a danger that the roots of the teeth in question could resorb, in other words, be absorbed by the body.
It is for this reason that the intrusion of teeth was once thought to be impossible. Fortunately, many case studies have proven that teeth can be safely intruded provided the applied force is minimal.
Gums Should Be in Good Condition
It is also necessary for the gum tissue of patients to be in excellent condition. If the gum tissue is too thin, there is the risk that the gums may recede due to the forces being applied by the braces. Gum disease too, should be brought under control before orthodontic intrusion as both gum overgrowth and gum recession can occur.
Traditional or Removable Braces Can Be Used
Although traditional braces, i.e., metal braces, are the preferred method of orthodontic intrusion, removable appliances such as Invisalign can be used to intrude teeth. Traditional braces are much simpler in terms of measuring the force needed to move teeth. However, for patients that wish to intrude a tooth or teeth discreetly, Invisalign can also be used.
The Invisalign trays can be worn for several hours per day in order to gently intrude teeth into the gums to achieve a more symmetric appearance.
A Skilled Periodontist or Orthodontist is Needed
Patients should choose carefully when selecting a dentist for this procedure as it requires both skill and experience. Orthodontists are often receive extra training to carry out orthodontic intrusion so it is important that patient's carefully check the background and experience of dentists before moving forward.
Teeth can be pushed further into the gums. However, it does require a skilled orthodontist and a healthy set of gums to do so.