You might think that once your braces come off, your orthodontic treatment is complete. In reality, that’s not the case. Retaining your teeth in their new positions is an essential part of your treatment. While you might usually associate retainers with keeping newly moved teeth in place, your orthodontist can also recommend a fiberotomy surgery. Read on to find out what this procedure entails.
All About Fiberotomy
After your braces are removed, your now straightened teeth need to be stabilized to prevent them from shifting back to their original position. This can be done with an appliance known as a retainer. Your retainer is custom-built and is made of plastic or plastic and metal wires. Retainers are typically removable, but your orthodontist might recommend a fixed one.
That said, sometimes teeth are likely to relapse to their original positions despite using a retainer. This is especially true for rotated teeth. In such cases, your orthodontist might recommend another procedure.
A study in the Journal of Dental Lasers points out that when teeth are moved orthodontically, this can cause the stretching of the periodontal ligament (PDL) and gingival fibers that encircle the tooth. After your orthodontist removes your braces, these fibers contract, causing a relapse.
A seminal study from 1970 noted a simple and effective surgical technique to ease the influence of the supracrestal periodontal fibers on rotational relapse. This technique was later called circumferential supracrestal fiberotomy (CSF). This is a procedure that is in use even today.
So what is the procedure like? Once your braces have been removed, an oral surgeon will administer topical and local anesthesia. Then, your surgeon will use a scalpel blade to make incisions through the gingival crevice of the aligned tooth (the area of potential space between the tooth and the surrounding tissue) down to the alveolar crest (the top of the bony ridge that holds the teeth). All the supracrestal fibers around the now de-rotated tooth will likely be severed. No stitches are typically necessary.
Your orthodontist or oral surgeon may also want to place your fixed retainer during this same dental visit.
A study of individuals who underwent a fiberotomy procedure reported in the Saudi Dental Journal that healing was uneventful. No patients reported post-operative discomfort or any noticeable changes in the surgical sites at the one-week follow-up appointment. That said, if you’re concerned about experiencing side effects from a fiberotomy procedure, your oral surgeon or orthodontist is the best person to consult.
There haven’t been too many discussions or studies from the American Dental Association about fiberotomy surgeries in recent years, so your oral surgeon can guide you if you have any concerns or questions about the cost of the procedure or the procedure itself.
If your orthodontist recommends a fiberotomy procedure, it’s normal to have questions or feel worried. But don’t worry; this procedure is typically painless and non-invasive. And remember, you’re on the last part of your journey to getting the smile you’ve always wanted, and we’re with you every step of the way.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.