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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6021
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine
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I have an old retainer that was made prior to my wisdom

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Hello! I have an old retainer that was made prior to my wisdom teeth coming in, I am wondering if there's a way to have my old retainer constructed to now fit the extra teeth. right now the back of the retainer would fit around my molars but there is no longer a space for that.
JA: Do you have any gum pain? Do you any discomfort in your jaw?
Customer: Nope I saw an oral surgeon who said I don't need to get them out just yet. there are no issues with them
JA: Please give me a bit more information, so the dentist can help you best.
Customer: Basically I want my teeth to be straight again and figuring out the best way for that to happen. I have an old retainer that fits but doesnt slide into the back becuase there are now wisdom teeth there

Assuming you have a Hawley-type retainer (i.e., with an acrylic palate and a labial arch wire), The only modification that might allow you to use it (assuming your teeth haven't drifted too far so the appliance will still fit over your teeth) is to cut off the acrylic parts that interfere with the newly-erupted wisdom teeth.

There would normally not be any need to extend the retainer back to include the wisdom teeth, since orthodontic maintenance of wisdom teeth usually is not considered necessary. Please note that any additions to your retainer (e.g., the lengthening of the palatal acrylic to encompass the wisdom teeth) would not likely make sense, since such a modification would be tantamount to making an entirely new appliance in terms of effort and expense.

The caveat here is that the use of your old retainer is only feasible if your teeth have not drifted significantly since you stopped using your retainer. This is a significant "if", because your orthodontist would not likely have made the retainer in the first place if he didn't think the teeth would move without it. If there has been significant tooth drift, you may need to seek a period of active orthodontic treatment to correct for any relapse prior to making a new retainer.

Hope this helps...

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