One of the most prevalent concerns for dental patients has to do with the order in which teeth replacement and alignment procedures should take place. When teeth are lost due to decay, injury or any other reason, you might consider getting a dental implant. Dental implants mostly come in the form of titanium posts which are inserted into the jaw and fitted with a prosthetic crown. In certain cases, however, a patient with missing teeth could also have an alignment problem, calling for both dental implants and braces.
This often leads to concerns about which procedure should come first. The approach is taken usually varies from one case to the next.
When do Braces Come First?
In a majority of situations, braces are fitted first since it might be necessary to align a patient’s teeth to create space for the implant. Even a single missing tooth can affect dental alignment, forcing other teeth to move out of their natural positions. In such situations, an orthodontist would be careful to leave a gap for the implant during the realignment process.
But in cases where there is overcrowding, the best option might be to close the gap using braces instead of waiting to fit an implant.
When Do Dental Implants Come Before Braces?
Keeping in mind that dental implants cannot be realigned once they’re fixed, they’re rarely fitted first. However, there are two main situations in which they could precede braces:
- If the implant is supposed to act as an anchor point for the realignment process. As an anchor point, it facilitates the proper positioning of teeth and therefore has to come first.
- If the braces will not be placed around the position of the implant.
Oral surgeons and orthodontists work closely together to assess every individual situation and come up with the most suitable solution before fitting dental implants and braces.