Unintended or Residual Spacing


Unintended or residual spacing refers to the unintended spaces that occur during or remain at the completion of treatment. 


Unintended or residual spacing can be caused by any of the following:

  • Patient is non-compliant and has not followed the recommended wear schedule of at least 22 hours per day.
  • Too much IPR was done and not properly or adequately closed with treatment
  • Patient's anatomy and bone biology


Try the following actions:

  • Request a revision to get the residual spaces closed. This is most often the best choice. It provides the most control over the space closure and may involve more than one step.
  • If preferred, when you submit your case, you may request a "digital power chain" (over-closure of the residual space incorporated into the treatment setup by the technician) for the end of treatment, to tighten up any residual spacing.
  • Use dimple pliers to close very small residual spaces. This is a quick chair-side adjustment for very small spaces only. However, care must be taken in creating the dimple to get the desired movement. See our article on Dimples - Where to place.
  • Utilize a Hawley-type of retainer to close anterior spaces. The acrylic on the palatal/lingual must be relieved slightly to create room for the teeth to move back while closing the space.
  • Use a "wrap-around" type of retainer to close posterior spaces.

Wrap-around retainer

  • Use a positioner to close the spaces and then retain.


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ClearCorrect is a medical device manufacturer and does not practice dentistry. The treating physician is solely responsible for prescribing and administering orthodontic treatment. Clear aligner therapy is unpredictable. ClearCorrect does not guarantee a successful treatment outcome. Individual results will vary.

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