Braces are suitable for all ages, and they can transform anything from mild crowding to complex bite problems and severely crooked teeth. One question that comes up every now and then, though, is whether braces are compatible with dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Missing teeth are a fairly common occurrence, whether through injury or disease, and we’re now seeing more patients opt for implants over tooth replacement alternatives such as bridges. Dental implants consist of a titanium post, which is inserted into the jaw bone, to replace the root of a missing tooth. This is then attached to a crown, which looks and functions just like a natural tooth.
Once dental implants are in position, they shouldn’t move, but unfortunately, real teeth aren’t so obedient. Teeth can shift around for many reasons, and as we age there’s a natural tendency for them to crowd towards the front of the mouth. For many patients, braces provide an obvious solution to this problem, but what if you have one or more dental implants in place – are braces still an option?
The short answers is: yes, braces can absolutely be an option, and depending on your circumstances there are a few approaches we can take.
Braces after dental implants
Dental implants can’t be moved, but as long as your implant is already in the right position, we can happily move the surrounding teeth using a fixed brace or clear aligner system such as Invisalign. Even if you have several implants, orthodontic treatment is still a possibility.
If your implant isn’t in the best position and will look out of place once your other teeth are aligned, you could consider replacing it at the end of your orthodontic treatment. This could involve replacing just the crown, or the entire implant. Alternatively, you could leave the implant where it is and settle for a slightly compromised result.
Braces before dental implants
While we can move teeth around implants, it’s usually best to carry out orthodontic treatment first, so we can make sure your teeth are in the perfect position. And not to worry if you’ve already lost your tooth – we can fit a temporary false tooth to make sure you’re not left with a gap at any point.
For some patients, orthodontic treatment can even be a necessity before an implant – creating enough space for the new tooth and even moving the roots of the neighbouring teeth into the correct position.
Whether you opt for braces before an implant, or an implant before braces, the clinicians providing your orthodontic treatment and implant will work closely together to ensure a seamless patient journey and the best results.