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Category Archives: Adult Orthodontics

Dental Implants and Orthodontics: Which Comes First?

It is widely known that very few people have perfectly aligned teeth and that millions of Americans are missing at least one tooth. Therefore, it is not surprising that some people have both problems. Misaligned teeth and missing teeth can both be corrected with orthodontic treatment and dental implants. But which should come first, braces or dental implants?

 

Braces First, Implants Second

 

In most cases, it is best to undergo orthodontic treatment before getting dental implants. This is because dental implants are permanently implanted into the jawbone, which means they cannot be moved once placed. Therefore, the teeth should be re-positioned first so that enough space is made available for placement of the dental implant(s) once orthodontic treatment is complete. If you are in this situation, you should speak to your orthodontist before being treated with braces so he or she can develop a treatment plan that accounts for your desire to get dental implants and make sure there is ample room available in the empty spaces to fit them.


Exceptions

 

In some cases, it may be necessary to place a dental implant before orthodontic treatment begins. For example, if the dental implant needs to serve as a stable anchor point so the appropriate forces can be applied to move the teeth as needed, the patient would likely get the implant before the orthodontic appliances are put on. Also, if the teeth in the vicinity of the implant are not targeted for the orthodontic treatment, the patient may get the implant in that situation as well.

 

Ultimately, your oral surgeon and orthodontist will work together on a treatment plan that requires both braces and dental implants to determine the optimal timing for both treatments.

 

Questions? Contact Our Orthodontist in West Seattle & Burien

 

If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment and dental implants, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Peralta Orthodontics as we’re always happy to speak with you. If you would like to speak with Dr. Peralta about your options for improving your smile, please schedule a complimentary consultation appointment. During your first visit with us, Dr. Peralta will examine your teeth and bite and speak with you about your treatment goals. He will help then help you decide on what course of action to take in order to help you achieve those goals.

adult male with braces

Adult Orthodontics: Do Wisdom Teeth Have to be Removed?

Dr. Jorge Peralta is frequently asked by our Seattle-area adult patients if they need to have their wisdom teeth removed before beginning orthodontic treatment.  The short answer is “no”. The great majority of our adult patients can have their orthodontic treatment completed while they still have their wisdom teeth.  The exceptions are when the condition and position of the wisdom teeth impact the health of nearby teeth or the bite.

 

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, typically erupt between the ages of 18 and 25. Not all wisdom teeth actually succeed in erupting due to lack of space in the mouth. These are called “impacted” wisdom teeth and with adult patients, Dr. Peralta first considers if extracting them may cause more issues than leaving them alone. This is thoroughly evaluated and explained to you at the time of your treatment discussion.

 

It is perfectly acceptable to have wisdom teeth extracted slightly before beginning orthodontic treatment or even during treatment. If you are a candidate for orthodontic treatment while you still have your wisdom teeth, Dr. Peralta may recommend their removal after your treatment has ended for the following potential reasons:

 

  • They can be painful when erupting
  • They can be difficult to clean
  • They are prone to extensive tooth decay that can transfer to nearby teeth
  • Soft tissue infection can occur
  • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) may surround them and cause issues
  • Gum disease can occur

A misconception is that wisdom teeth eruption will cause tooth crowding.  Many studies show that the wisdom teeth do not exert enough force to cause the front teeth to crowd. Additionally, research has documented that teeth will drift forward and crowd over time regardless if wisdom teeth are extracted or not. This is why wearing retainers for life is crucial to maintaining your results!

 

Rest assured that if you are and adult in the greater Seattle area who is interested in orthodontic treatment and still have your wisdom teeth, Dr. Peralta will evaluate your specific case, craft a timeline and advise you on the steps to making your smile as healthy and beautiful as it can be. Request a free consultation online or call us to see if you are a candidate for orthodontic treatment!

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Peralta Orthodontics