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Adult Braces - My tooth is Not Moving.



I am a 35 year old female who is currently wearing braces for the 3rd time. The 1st time I was about 9 years old. Both canine teeth needed to come down to match the others. The 2nd time I was 17 years old and my two front teeth became misaligned (one became higher than the other). And now the 3rd Time I am wearing them to correct the same problem.

After getting my 2nd set off at 18 I noticed that my two front teeth started to move. I was wearing my retainer, but the left tooth immediately started to move upwards. As I got older it continued to get worse until it became very embarrassing. Unfortunately I didn`t have the money to correct it. Seven months ago I finally got braces again. At this point all of my teeth seem to be moving as expected except for the front top left one - the one that needs the most work! I have been told that it may be ankylosed, but my orthodontist has not yet confirmed this theory. He has also told me that I have a tongue thrust, but has done nothing to correct it yet.

I`m getting so frustrated! How can I know for sure what the best course of action is? Why have I been having such problems with my teeth moving as an adult? Is it possible that my tooth is not ankylosed, but is just extremely slow to move back into place? Thank you for any and all advice!


Ankylosis seems like the most likely explanation, especially if you cannot move the tooth with pressure applied with your finger. This condition occurs when a tooth is essentially attached directly to the socket. An ankylosed tooth cannot move because of this attachment to the bone. It is difficult to diagnose because the attachment to the socket only needs to be in one small area of the root surface. 

I would suggest you find someone in your area who has a small volume Cone Beam Computed Tomographic machine since you need a 3D view of the tooth the diagnose the condition. 

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Go to the Braces health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark G Hans, DDS, MSD Mark G Hans, DDS, MSD
Professor of Orthodontics
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University