Author(s): Levin L, SamorodnitzkyNaveh GR, Machtei EE
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The use of postorthodontic fixed retainers made of wire and composite resin bonded to the lingual/palatal tooth aspect is a common practice that can affect gingival health. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association of orthodontic treatment and fixed retainers with gingival health. METHODS: The study included 92 consecutive subjects who arrived for routine dental examination at a military dental clinic between May and August 2007. Plaque and gingival indices, gingival recession, probing depth, and bleeding on probing were measured at the anterior sextants. When a fixed retainer was present, the distance was measured between the retainer and incisal edge and to the cemento-enamel junction. Past orthodontic treatment and smoking habits were self-reported. Postorthodontic patients were sorted by the presence or absence of fixed retainers. RESULTS: The mean probing depth was 1.90 +/- 0.2 mm, and gingival recession was 0.06 +/- 0.02 mm; 20.8\% of all sites exhibited bleeding on probing. Current smoking was reported by 20 (21.7\%) patients. Labial gingival recession was significantly greater in treated (0.13 +/- 0.2 mm) patients compared to non-treated patients (0.05 +/- 0.2 mm; P = 0.03). Localized lingual gingival recession was significantly greater in teeth with fixed retainers (0.09 +/- 0.2 mm) compared to teeth with no fixed retainers (0.01 +/- 0.1 mm; P = 0.0002), as were plaque and gingival indices and bleeding on probing. Plaque on the lingual/palatal aspect showed a weak, positive correlation with lingual gingival recession (r = 0.16; P = 0.033). CONCLUSION: Orthodontic treatment and fixed retainers were associated with an increased incidence of gingival recession, increased plaque retention, and increased bleeding on probing; however, the magnitude of the difference in recession was of low clinical significance.
This article was published in J Periodontol
and referenced in Dentistry