It is not uncommon for some patients to be faced with the need to have dental implants and orthodontic treatment. However, timing is important here and there are key factors to consider.
If, for example, you recently had a molar extracted and you also need upcoming orthodontic treatment, do you get the implant first or the braces first? In most situations, it is best to wear braces or other orthodontic appliances before the implant is placed. This ensures that the implant is placed in its best position. Orthodontics are designed to move the teeth. Therefore, the teeth adjacent to the implant may shift and cause the implant to be in a less ideal position.
There is a dilemma that many patients encounter when choosing to complete orthodontic correction before getting one or more implants: bone loss. Missing teeth cause jawbone loss (or atrophy) over time. Some orthodontic treatments may take 24 months or more, thus increasing the chances that the patient will lose bone and need a bone graft in order to receive dental implants.
Still, most dentists agree that the braces must come before the implants. However, you should let your dentist monitor you for bone loss during braces. Also, it may be suggested that a bone graft be done immediately at the extraction site to preserve the bone and be ready to support an implant placement later. Depending on the type of orthodontics used and your specific treatment plan, it may be possible to place the implants earlier or before the final orthodontic correction is achieved. This is a decision that must be made by your orthodontist and your implants dentist.
Dental implants are an important decision and they are designed to be a permanent solution for your smile. Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD understands that getting implants may not be a straightforward decision. Therefore, we work diligently with our patients to help them make the best decisions for the timing of the dental implant surgery in relation to other dental problems that may also need to be addressed.