I’m wondering if my dentist should have used Invisalign instead of a spring retainer. She was trying to correct a right lateral incisor that shifted. I wore braces from 2001-2003, and all my teeth were beautiful except the one that started to move last year. Now that I’m no longer wearing the spring retainer, a black triangle is left because my dentist shaved 1.5 mm on the side of my tooth. Is it too late for Invisalign, or do I need a gum graft? – Remi from MS
For our readers: A spring retainer is a removable orthodontic appliance made of stainless steel. It is used on the front teeth. There is a spring in the middle of the appliance that puts pressure on your teeth. Dentists often use spring retainers to restore the alignment of teeth that have shifted.
Dr. Finley would need to examine your teeth to determine which treatment is best for your case. Preventing black triangles takes skill in shaping and positioning adjacent teeth. Invisalign won’t resolve the issue.
Which Option Will Correct a Black Triangle Between Teeth?
- Gum grafts – Gum grafts would look good initially, but the gum tissue will gradually follow the position and shape of your teeth.
- Invisalign – Invisible braces won’t shape your gums around your teeth—they only align teeth. Your description indicates that one tooth shifted, and the others are aligned correctly. It seems that you don’t need additional orthodontic treatment.
- Dental bonding – Dental composite can be applied to your teeth to build up the sides near the gumline and close the black triangle. But only an expert cosmetic dentist has the skill and technique to make the bonding look natural. Most general and family dentists haven’t received the advanced training required to give you natural-looking results that last.
We suggest that you schedule an appointment for a second opinion with an advanced cosmetic dentist. He or she will examine the black triangle and the teeth on either side of it and explain your treatment options.
David Finley, DDS, an accredited fellow of cosmetic dentistry in Monroe, LA, sponsors this post.