When thinking about getting braces or Invisalign, you’ll need to consider other dental procedures or treatments that could affect your time in orthodontic treatment. One factor that could significantly affect your orthodontic treatment is if you need a dental implant. Here’s why you may end up needing braces before you get your dental implant.
What Is a Dental Implant?
If you lose a tooth, whether due to injury or tooth decay, the empty space will need to be filled. A dental implant is an acrylic replacement of a lost tooth. The outside, or crown, of the artificial tooth, is designed to look and feel as similar to the lost tooth as possible. However, the inside is made of titanium and serves as the base of the dental implant.
Getting a dental implant to replace a tooth provides a sturdy artificial tooth that makes eating and speaking easier while providing more self-confidence if the lost tooth was visible to others. It also fills in the gap in between teeth, helping you avoid potential problems with your gums.
Why You May Need Braces Before Getting a Dental Implant
Unlike actual teeth, dental implants are surgically attached to the jaw bone. Regular teeth have their roots in the jaw bone but are surrounded by ligaments that provide a slight amount of elasticity. These ligaments are what make orthodontic correction possible. As braces apply pressure to a tooth, one side of the ligament breaks down while the other side adds more tissue to fill the void. Over the course of several months, the process of reshaping the ligaments results in your teeth having new, corrected positions.
This process isn’t possible with dental implants since they aren’t surrounded by these elastic ligaments. If an orthodontist attempted to move the position of a dental implant, they would most likely just end up damaging the jaw bone.
Because of this, it’s usually recommended to get braces before having a dental implant put in. The treatment can move the surrounding teeth into their permanent positions without damaging your jaw, and the dental implant can be installed. Sometimes, moving the surrounding teeth before you get your dental implant can make it so the spacing is ideal. If there was severe crowding or a gap before the tooth was lost, getting braces can create just the right amount of room for the implant. Other times, braces can move the surrounding teeth to close the gap of the old tooth altogether to improve spacing.
In some cases, it can be beneficial to get a dental implant before you get braces. There are times when the implant can aid as an anchor for the braces to facilitate the teeth-straightening process.
During your free consultation at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we will evaluate your teeth to determine the best course of action for you. Contact us today to get started!