Incidence of relapse following orthodontic treatment
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It is within the scope of this paper to stimulate and arouse new interest in the study of retention. The research is basically concerned with the incidence of rotational relapse. the reopening of the once tightly approximated teeth adjacent to extraction sites, and the possible influence of third molars on the stability of the treated dentition. In this study. thirty-six patients were used who had all completed their active phase of treatment. The subjects were divided into two groups, extraction cases, and non-extraction cases. In order to investigate the incidence of rotational relapse, the activity of extraction sites, and the possible influence of third molars on extraction sites, pre-treatment records were compared statistically with the final records and with those taken within a two year retention interval. It was observed that the incidence of rotational relapse was high. Similarly, there was found to be a high degree of relapse activity in extraction sites. Finally, it was observed that in the presence of third molars, an almost equal number of extraction sites closed during retention as reopened, and in some cases each quadrant of the same arch displayed opposite activity. This suggests that the influence of third molars on retained orthodontic cases is questionable and if it exists, at best, it is unpredictable. The high incidence of relapse as evidenced by this study indicates the importance of, and the need for further research and study in this area.
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