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How do implants and orthodontics work together?

Most people associate orthodontics with teenagers getting braces, but orthodontics for adults can be an effective co-treatment to prepare your mouth for dental implants. In this post, we’ll discuss why someone might need orthodontic treatment prior to getting implants and how the two procedures work together to give you long-lasting replacements for your natural teeth.

When do I need orthodontic treatment prior to getting implants?

If you’ve been missing one or more teeth for a long time, it’s possible that your remaining teeth have slowly drifted into the gaps where your missing teeth once were. In severe cases, this shifting can make it difficult to install dental implants. Orthodontic treatment can reverse this shift and move your teeth back into their natural position. Braces are fitted in such a way to widen the gap where your missing tooth is and make room for the implant.

Can I do the orthodontic treatment later?

Orthodontic treatment should be completed before the installation of your dental implant to align your natural teeth for a healthy bite. Getting your teeth into the ideal position ahead of time reduces the risk of unwanted pressure on your implant. It is vital that dental implants remain stationary after surgery so they can integrate with your jawbone and fuse into place.

Wearing a retainer

Most patients will be asked to wear a retainer for a period of time following orthodontics. A retainer prevents your teeth from shifting back to their pre-orthodontics position until your dental implants have fully integrated and your teeth are firmly set in their new position.

Dental implants before orthodontics

There are situations where having your implant installed prior to being fitted with braces makes sense.

  • When the teeth surrounding the gap will not be targeted for orthodontic treatment
  • When the dental implant is needed as an anchor point to reposition other teeth

Any time a patient requires both orthodontic care and oral surgery, your orthodontist and oral surgeon will communicate with each other to determine the best treatment plan to achieve optimal results.