Orthodontics Blog - Dr. Albert Fontaine

Braces with Implants or Fixed Restorations

DUNEDIN AND SPRING HILL, FLORIDA – Although an implant looks like a natural tooth, it doesn’t respond to pressure from orthodontics like natural teeth. In fact, it doesn’t respond at all.

Many adults don’t realize that they are still young enough to straighten their teeth until after they have had some sort of “restorative” work done. This can get complicated when their restorations are “fixed” like an implant.

Teeth Move, Implants Don’t
While an implant is similar to a tooth in the fact that it has a root structure, the difference is that the titanium post of the implant, which is inserted into the bone, eventually fuses, becoming part of the bone. The roots of natural teeth also grow into the bone however; they also have a periodontal membrane. This connective tissue encapsulates the tooth’s roots, creating a pillow of tissue that attaches the roots to the alveolar bone. When pressure is applied to the tooth from an orthodontic appliance, the periodontal membrane stretches on one side and compresses on the other while the bone grows to set the tooth in its new position.

Orthodontics After Restoration?

As a rule of thumb, adult orthodontics should come before fixed restoratives. If the teeth are crooked, it’s easy to put the crown, bridge, etc. in the wrong position. A good restorative dentist knows this and will wait until their patient’s teeth have been moved into their optimal position by an orthodontist prior to performing final restoration. With that said, the majority of cases we encounter often involve adults who had fixed restoratives not knowing that later on down the road they would be unhappy with their crooked or gap teeth and want braces.

“While implants don’t move, it doesn’t necessarily prevent orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Albert Fontaine, a Dunedin invisible braces expert. “It just limits what we can do since we have to accommodate the implant.”

Once implants are in place you cannot move teeth as you may want to and cannot correct an occlusion (bite). In some cases, you can use the implants as somewhat of an anchoring device. This would be rare but an implant that is placed in the back of the mouth can be used to retract front teeth. However, this only works if there is space in front of the implant that will allow natural teeth to move back. The anterior (front) teeth could then be retracted to close possible gaps.

What Types of Braces Can be Used?

When it comes to which style of adult braces can be used with implants, the decision is made based on the same factors as with patients who don’t have implants. Depending on the patient’s level of misalignment, lifestyle and budget, styles such as ceramic, traditional metal, lingual and Invisalign are all possible options.

If you have or are considering fixed restorations and would like to improve your crooked teeth, contact Dr. Fontaine, a Dunedin and Clearwater orthodontist, who can help you achieve the level of alignment you desire. Offices are conveniently located in Dunedin and Spring Hill, Florida and serve patients throughout the surrounding areas as well.

© 2013 Sinai Marketing and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Sinai Marketing and Dr. Albert J. Fontaine are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.