Resources‎ > ‎1. Before Treatment‎ > ‎

1Q7. Are there any risk factors when receiving orthodontic treatment?

Are there any risk factors when receiving orthodontic treatment?

Undergoing orthodontic treatment can potentially lead to following problems:

  • Discomfort
    • Of inner surface of cheek and lips from orthodontic appliance.
    • Of tooth for two days to a week after adjustment of appliance.
  • Increased risk of decalcification (white spot lesion), dental decay, and periodontal disease
    • Presence of orthodontic appliances increase risk of decalcification, dental decay and periodontal disease.
    • Patient must follow a stringent oral hygiene home care and to visit their dentist or periodontist at recommended interval to reduce risk of decalcification, cavities, and periodontal disease.
    • Patient must also avoid food and beverages high in sugar content to reduce risk of decalcification and dental cavity.
  • Root resorption
    • The root of some patient’s teeth becomes shorter during orthodontic treatment. Exact cause of root resorption is unknown.
    • Tooth with shorter root may have poor prognosis if patient ever have periodontal disease. However, many patients with extremely short root have retained their teeth throughout their lifetime.
    • If more than minor root resorption is detected, your orthodontist may recommend pause in treatment or recommend removal of appliance before completion of the treatment.
  • Tooth nerve damage
    • Tooth with history of trauma, deep decay, or deep filling may have experienced injury to tissue and nerve within the tooth.
    • Orthodontic movement of these injured teeth may result in additional injury or necrosis to the pulp of the tooth.
    • The tooth may then require root canal treatment, post buildup, and crown. Occasionally tooth may even be lost.

  • Injury from orthodontic appliances
    • Physical activity without proper mouth guard may lead to injury to the inner layer of lip or cheek from orthodontic appliance.
    • Loose orthodontic appliance can be inhaled or swallowed and may require medical attention.
    • Wire or hooks can cause soreness or injury to cheek or lip. 
    • Occasionally, removal of appliance may lead to damage to the tooth enamel (especially porcelain braces). This may necessitate placement of white filling material to repair tooth surface.
  • Allergies
    • Occasionally patient may have allergies to component of the bracket or wire.
    • This may require change in treatment or early termination of treatment.
    • Occasionally medical management of allergy may be necessary.

    Risk factors mentioned above is a combination my own professional opinion and information extracted from Informed Consent form from American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).


    A copy of AAO Informed consent form may be obtained from AAO website.


    Informed consent form used in my office with greater detail of the risk factors mentioned above can be obtain from the following link:

    JD Orthodontics Informed Consent Form


    AAO has a very good, easy to follow informed consent video.

    Click here to view AAO Informed Consent Vido.

  • Comments