There are times when your smile needs help from two different dental specialists, an orthodontist and an implants dentist. Such patients may find that they have crooked, gapped or misaligned teeth as well as one or more missing teeth. Undergoing orthodontic treatment and getting a dental implant are both complex procedures. If you find yourself in need of both, it is common to ask, “which one first?”.
It is generally recommended that patients complete all of their orthodontic treatment before getting a dental implant. The premise for this order is based on the fact that dental implants don’t move like natural teeth. Orthodontics are designed to shift or move your teeth into their ideal position to create better spacing and harmony within your bite. However, once dental implants are implanted and fuse to the jawbone, they do not budge. Therefore, a dental implant before orthodontics could compromise ideal treatment goals.
However, there are cases in which the reverse order is best. When the dental implant is serving as an anchor for orthodontics, it is best to place the implant first. In addition, if your braces don’t involve moving the adjacent teeth or opposing teeth of where the implant is to go, then you can opt to undergo implant surgery before getting your braces put on.
There are many cases in which patients have neglected to replace a missing tooth and the adjacent teeth have migrated towards the open space in response. This can lead to gaps, crooked teeth and malocclusion. In this situation, failing to get a dental implant (or bridge) has actually caused you to need orthodontics. To prevent the misalignment from occurring again, you must consider a prosthetic solution to hold the space of the missing tooth.
The only sure way to know if you should get dental implants or braces first is to schedule a consult with a specialist. At the office of Dr. Wayne Suway, we have your best interests at heart with everything we do. When it comes to orthodontics and implants, order does matter!