Dental Implant or Braces to Replace a Missing Molar?
- Asked by gonza in California
- 3 years ago
I was giving 2 options by the dentist to replace an upper missing molar. One choice was an implant and the other choice was braces to close the space from the missing molar and will help an overbite I have. I don't know which way to go.
Dental implant would be the choice for missing molar
If the space between the tooth is too small and not enough for a tooth, it is better to get the braces. But if the space is enough for a tooth and is wide, it is better to get an implant .
Dental Implants to replace missing molars vs Braces
I would suggest replacing the missing tooth with a dental implant. It’s more predictable than trying to shift molars into the empty space. It's very difficult to move molar teeth, especially to close a large gap, which is what typically remains after you lose a molar. You can still have braces if you wish to correct the overbite. However, it wouldn’t hurt to correct your overbite, while simultaneously attempting to close the space for the missing molar. Just be prepared to have the implant placed if orthodontics is not successful in closing the space. Good Luck!
Braces First, then the Dental Implant
In a case like yours where the space has decreased because of tooth drift, the best answer is to upright the angled tooth first which will create the proper amount of spacing to replace the missing tooth. You won’t need full arch orthodontics, which will be fairly quick to fix the problem. Then a correctly placed dental implant- not a mini that would be a compromise is the answer. The crown made on the implant should be anatomic to the tooth that was there previously
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Don't mess with Mother Nature
Mother Nature created our arch forms to be a certain size to accommodate the tongue. If you modify this with orthodontics, you may be setting yourself up for TMJ problems. I treat a lot of TMJ patients and 80% have previously had ortho and most had four bicuspids removed. Keep your space and go with the implant.
Braces to close molar space or replace with a dental implant
Orthodontic movement of molars to close space of the missing tooth is extremely difficult if not impossible. Molars are multi-rooted and translatory movements (the type of orthodontic movement that will completely shift its position) is extremely unpredictable. The best approach is maintaining their position and replace the missing tooth with a single implant. Even if orthodontic treatment is needed for correction of the bite, it's best to preserve the space and replace it with an implant.
Dental implant is the proper choice
If your dentist gave you an option of moving a molar to close that large of space, then I would question his knowledge, period. I would never give an option like that for such a large space. Moving a tooth or teeth that far will shorten the roots and could cause real problems in the future.
Molars are hard to move with braces
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.