If you have a dental misalignment and a missing tooth, then you are probably wondering whether to get a dental implant first or orthodontic treatment first. It's good to know that, in some cases, the decision may not be entirely down to your personal preferences. This is because there are cases where it's good to get the implant first, and there are also cases where you may be advised to get orthodontic treatment first.
Implant Cannot Be Repositioned
The norm is to have the orthodontic treatment first because the implant cannot be repositioned with orthodontics. Remember, it is the teeth ligaments that allow them to be repositioned with braces, and implants don't have ligaments. Therefore, once you have an implant in place, it will occupy its position permanently.
Widening the Space
Another reason you may be a good candidate for an orthodontic-before-implant treatment is if the existing implant space is not wide enough. This may be the case if your teeth are overcrowded or if your teeth are misaligned. In such a case, you may need orthodontic treatment to move the adjacent teeth and create room for the implant.
Implant Is Needed As an Anchor
Orthodontic materials typically need anchorage so that it is the teeth that move, and not the treatment materials. This necessary support is provided by the existing teeth, so you may have anchorage problems if you are missing teeth where the anchoring is supposed to take place. In such a case, it may be necessary to insert the implant before the orthodontic treatment so that the implant can provide the anchorage for the braces.
Orthodontic Treatment Not Targeting Teeth around Implant
It may also be possible to get the implant treatment if the teeth in the vicinity of the missing teeth are not targeted for orthodontic treatment. This makes sense because not all teeth are targeted during alignment; only the ones out of alignment are adjusted. Therefore, if you are not planning to move the teeth around the implant, it may be alright to get the implant treatment first, and then go ahead with the orthodontics.
A Special Case – Orthodontics Only
Lastly, in some cases, you may only need orthodontic treatment even if you have both misaligned teeth and a missing tooth. This may be the case if the misalignment is serious or your teeth are a bit overcrowded. In such a case, aligning the teeth may close the gap created by the missing teeth so that you don't have to get a dental implant.
For more information, contact a dentist like Kenneth Schweizer DDS PA.