Orthodontic relapse can be defined as the tendency for teeth to return to their pretreatment position, and this occurs especially in lower front teeth (lower canines and lower incisors). Retention, to maintain the position of corrected teeth, has become one of the most important phases of orthodontic treatment. It is important to prevent the relapse of orthodontically treated teeth to their pretreatment positions for successful orthodontic treatment outcomes. Relapse can occur as a result of forces from the periodontal fibers around the teeth, which tend to pull the teeth back toward their pretreatment positions, and also from deflecting occlusal contacts if the final occlusion is less than ideal. Age changes, in the form of ongoing dentofacial growth, as well as changes in the surrounding soft tissues, can also affect the stability of the orthodontic outcome. Relapse following orthodontic treatment is caused by the lack of reorganization and subsequent reorientation of the supracrestal periodontal fibers. Post-retention outcomes in adults have been shown to be at least as stable as those in adolescents in relation to midline alignment, overjet, overbite, molar relationship, and incisor alignment. Edwards reported a simple and efficacious surgical technique that could attenuate the presumed influence of supracrestal periodontal fibers on rotational relapse.
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