Ortho Procedures - Fiberotomy

A fiberotomy is a procedure used to help keep the teeth in their new positions following movement during an orthodontic treatment. The retention of teeth in their new position plays a critical role in orthodontic measures such as braces. This is just one of the many methods dental professionals use to prevent the teeth from returning into their original location. While a fiberotomy is a surgical procedure, this treatment is not invasive and is only used for teeth which are at a high risk for relapsing to an undesired position.

Keeping the Teeth in Place

A removable appliance or retainer is often used orthodontically to keep the teeth in their new positions. This solution requires the patient to cooperate with the treatment plan by wearing a removable device in order to prevent the teeth from relapsing. A bonded or attached retainer may also be installed. In this case, a section of teeth are cemented together on the inside using thin wires. Both appliances can be worn on both the upper and lower arches of the mouth. Unfortunately, retainers are not always enough to prevent the teeth from moving.

Teeth Movement

Teeth move through the bone and gum tissue using orthodontic appliances. This causes the hard and soft tissues around the teeth to adjust to the new position. The soft tissue consists of tough fibers which are stretched when teeth are moved. They then exert a strong pressure on the teeth to pull them back to their original position. This often occurs when the teeth were severely rotated or moved in a dramatic way. These soft tissue fibers are quite resilient and can relapse in some cases, even when the patient wears a retainer.

Fiberotomy Surgery

Fiberotomy surgery is a minimally invasive procedure where the fibers are cut and allowed to heal with lower amounts of tension on the newly-positioned teeth. The fibers are located just below the base of the sulcus or the gap found between the gum and the base of the tooth. The fibers are also found above the alveolar bone which is the bony ridge that holds the teeth. The dentist administers a local anesthesia pitot to inserting the scalpel blade or laser into the sulcus of the teeth and cuts across the fibers which hold each tooth in place. There is not a flap, rip or change within the outer position of the gums. Stitches are also not required and most patients only experience minor discomfort following the procedure. A fiberotomy is typically performed prior to the removal of a patient's braces. It can also be completed following the removal of braces or removal of any retainers which are in place.

Fiberotomy Surgery Recovery

The fiberotomy procedure can be performed by an orthodontist, periodontist or an oral surgeon. Similar to other oral surgeries, patients may experience minor swelling the first few days after the procedure. Any pain is typically minimal, however, some patients report experiencing tooth sensitivity for a few weeks. The dental professional will provide instructions for caring for the surgical site. They will also provide instructions for oral care and any food or liquid which should be avoided during the recovery.

Fixed or removable retainers are often still required along with a fiberotomy. While the procedure lowers the chances of experiencing a relapse, there are no guarantees that the teeth will not move. Many orthodontic patients have success with a combination of braces, retainers in addition to surgical or non-surgical procedures.

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