Title: Minimizing the risk of relapse in post orthodontic patients
Orthodontic treatment presents a challenge in terms of preserving its outcome. Lifetime retention is one of the options to keep the outcome of orthodontic treatment without changes. However, occasionally, orthodontic retainers fail to provide proper post-treatment stability. Occlusal influence on orthodontic treatment stability has been widely discussed. Our newly developed procedure, anteroposterior tooth contact adjustment (APTCA), is based on the computerized occlusal analysis T-scan Novus (Tekscan, USA) and subsequent occlusal adjustment. This unique approach has shown to reduce the risk of orthodontic relapse and can also be utilized in patients presenting specific signs and symptoms of existing occlusal trauma. According to the technique, orthodontic patients are evaluated during the final stage of orthodontic treatment with the use of both computerized occlusal analysis system (T-scan Novus) and occlusal foil. The developed algorithm of examination helps to establish occlusal contacts that can potentially cause unwanted tooth movements. Before the final debonding procedure, necessary adjustments are executed to eliminate existing occlusal interferences. After debonding, lower non-removable wire retainer is placed, and no upper retaining appliance is used to keep teeth from unwanted movements. Retention stage of orthodontic treatment is characterized by monthly occlusal analysis follow-ups with the use of T-scan Novus computerized occlusal analysis. According to observations, occlusal contacts tend to exhibit the maximum contact distribution within the next 6-8 months after debonding of orthodontic appliances. If necessary, additional corrections are introduced into newly established occlusion with the use of the anteroposterior tooth contact adjustment procedure.The newly developed technique of anteroposterior occlusal contact adjustment can be successfully utilized to minimize post-treatment relapse in orthodontic patients.