What Can Be Done to Help Orthodontic Retention?

Dr. Bonine can perform a small procedure to help your teeth stay in place after orthodontics

Following braces, "Retention" is keeping the great results that you ended orthodontics with, and making sure that your teeth stay where they should be. In our case, it has to do with preventing your gums from moving your straight teeth back to their original (sometimes crooked) places—where they were before orthodontics.

  • Why does movement happen?

    Following orthodontics or removal of wisdom teeth, many of the front teeth have been twisted, rotated, or moved sideways through the gums in the front of your mouth. These gums have the ability to sometimes act like rubber bands, moving the teeth back to where they were before your orthodontics: they can undo the efforts that have made your teeth straight.

  • What can be done?

    The CSF (or, Circumdental Supracrestal Fibrotomy) is a very minor procedure that we perform to help further prevent the gums from moving the teeth around. In this procedure, we release the gums from being attached to the front teeth. This procedure improves retention considerably for the teeth on which it is performed. CSF is virtually painless, and afterwards there is only minimal tenderness of the gums in the front of the mouth. In many cases, this minor surgical procedure is so simple that it can be performed under local anesthesia. It is usually done while one is "awake," and takes approximately 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, the gums will re-heal in their new position, without the capacity to undo orthodontic results. The cost of CSF is $120 for the entire front of the mouth, or $80 if done in conjunction with wisdom tooth removal.

  • What are the risks of the CSF procedure?

    Risks of the CSF procedure include the potential for gum problems if your gums are not very healthy prior to the procedure—upon examination, we may have to defer treatment until your gums are healthier. Additionally, sometimes the roots of teeth can have very thin coverings, and CSF can cause deterioration of these coverings; however, this is very rare.

  • What happens after the CSF procedure?

    After CSF, medication (like Tylenol or Aspirin) will take care of any discomfort. We liken the amount of discomfort felt afterwards to the experience of a heavy dental flossing.

    The simple procedure of CSF is done as efficiently as possible: one short appointment both explains and performs the procedure, and there is usually no need for post-treatment visits. Knowledge of your past medical history/problems, especially the presence of a heart murmur, is vital so that we may efficiently accomplish your treatment during your first visit.

The CSF is a quick and relatively simple procedure for obtaining improved, post-orthodontic retention. Our goal is to provide such a service for you. Please contact Dr. Bonine's office in Brighton, Michigan, and specify that you're requesting a CSF appointment.