What are these wires doing to my teeth?
February 26, 2009 10:24 AM   Subscribe

What is my orthodontist trying to accomplish with this exotic archwire shape? How does it work? Picture inside.

Here's a picture of my mouth.

Can anyone explain the physics behind the archwire bends? Which way should my front teeth be moving in response? I thought I understood at the ortho's office, but now I realize I didn't.
posted by pizzazz to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Am I right in seeing that you're missing your second incisors? And that the funny wire shape is spanning the space between the canines and first incisors? If that's the case, what it looks like to me is that the wire shape is acting as a spacer so that later, after your teeth have moved, you can be fitted with a prosthetic to replace the second incisors. You should definitely have a discussion with your orthodontist about this if you haven't already, because you two may have different outcomes in mind regarding your dental work.
posted by phunniemee at 11:02 AM on February 26, 2009

After looking at your past questions, I see that I'm right. They're spacers. They're going to allow your other teeth to move while keeping the spaces there for your implants. After you get your implants, I suspect that they'll do some more fine tuning around them to make them look pretty.

Good luck with all your dental work!
posted by phunniemee at 11:14 AM on February 26, 2009

Response by poster: Yes, I am missing my incisors and plan to get implants in the spaces you see in the picture. However, the spaces are now slightly too large. The prosthodontist and the orthodontist eventually want to angulate my top teeth so that their bottoms point more towards the inside of my mouth. That will cause the spaces to close a bit. However, they need to get my front teeth out of the way of my lower teeth before they can do that. I thought the loops in the archwire had something to do with that. It seems like that's not really the case. Thanks, phunniemee! Now I at least have a word to google to get more information!
posted by pizzazz at 1:00 PM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I believe that the dragon's head shape is a spring, and what is happening now is that the canines (eye teeth) are being tipped so that the long roots move away from the space that the implant will need.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:11 PM on February 26, 2009

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