Braces or Dental Implant?

I have one missing molar on the bottom right side of my mouth. I have one tooth that sticks out (due to a tight space) about the second tooth in front of the missing tooth. I am deciding if I should do dental implant or braces. I am 44 yrs old. I wonder if braces is a good idea since I am 44. I ownder if it will disturb my bone structure and muscle around the teeth.

Doctor Answers 12

Braces, implant or both

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I don't think your age is an issue at all. I would suggest a consultation with an orthodontist first to see what your options are, and because it is also the more conservative treatment.

I think you will probably need an implant of some sort though, so you should also see an oral surgeon to determine if there is enough bone in the right areas to do one. Even if there is not, it's possible to do bone grafting in order to get enough bone.

In these types of cases it's very important for the orthodontist, oral surgeon and restorative dentist to be in good communication so that treatment proceeds as planned with no surprises.

Cleveland Dentist

Straightening teeth

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since your tooth have been lost, the teeth around and above have shifted, since the teeth need the opposing and adjacent teeth. in order to have an adequate bite for you and for the future implant, it will be wiser to straighten your teeth. the benefit for you is not only aesthetic but alos functional which it will help to relax the strain of your muscles due to a shifted bite. i recommend orthodontic first followed by dental implants. 

Edgard El Chaar, DDS
New York Dentist

Braces or dental implant for molar space

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First, your age is not an issue at all.   Second, if there are some other teeth that are crowded or don't look ideal this may be a great time to solve those problems also.   I would recommend that you get an evaluation by an orthodontic specialist in your area who is familiar with the use of T.A.D.s (temporary anchorage devices also called mini implants.) You can check their web sites or call their office to see if they use them.  In the past, molar spaces like this often could not be closed but with the use of these devices I have been able to close large first molar spaces on both sides in a middle aged adult fireman (very big guy)  that I could not have done in the past.   Before these devices were available which is about the last seven or so years it would usually have had to be an implant or a bridge.  In addition, you could save enough on the implant and crown to pay for a good part of the orthodontics if a workable treatment plan can be worked out.    Part of the treatment planning decision should include the use of a Cone Beam CT scan to check the bone availability in the area of the missing molar both regarding an implant and possible space closure with orthodontics.  The CT scan also helps to figure out where there is good bone to place the T.A.D. anchor to close the space.

Clark L. Jones, DDS, MSD
Phoenix Orthodontist

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Combining braces and dental implants is often best

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Sometimes the best treatment is not a choice between one service or another, but both. Using braces to create ideal alignment and space for an implant may be worth the investment of both time and money. A consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist should lead to enough information to make the best choice for you.

Dental Implants and Braces

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If your objective is to straighten the tooth that “sticks out,” I recommend to either get braces or Invisalign treatment before implant placement.  You should have a consultation with a dentist to find out what results you can expect.  I don’t think your age is an issue with orthodontics.  Once the tooth is straightened a dental implant can be placed in a proper position and a crown on top of it.  Good Luck!

Peter Mann, DDS
Manhattan Dentist

Braces or Dental Implants?

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I  do not think that you should be concerned about your age when considering braces.  Braces are commonly done on adults without causing you to lose bone.  In fact, straightening your teeth and giving you a more ideal bite could actually help prevent you from losing bone.  It sounds like the best option may be for you to have braces to get the teeth aligned correctly and maintain the space where you are missing a tooth.  When the orthodontics are complete you can then have a dental implant placed.  This would give you the ability to chew evenly again on both sides. 

Ortho vs Implant

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I agree with the other doctors.  A orthodontic eval is necessary prior to any treatment.  Dr Gocke

Michael Timothy Gocke, DDS
McLean Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Braces or Implant to Replace Missing Molar

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In most cases orthodontics will not be able to close a space of that size without significantly retracting teeth posteriorly and possibly narrowing your arch.  This can have a negative impact of decreasinng space for your tongue and impact such factors as snoring and sleep apnea.  If orthodontics is appropriate to straighten other teeth and improve your bite by all means proceed with that and place an implant after the braces are complete.

Braces or Implant

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This comes down to doing a good diagnosis and treatment plan. It is likely that the molar tooth will be able to be replaced by an implant-supported crown alone.  But if there is crowding or a displaced tooth, it would be best to have study models made of your mouth. The study models, along with other diagnostic information, which may include a dental cone beam CT-Scan, can provide a lot of information to help in making the decision. By the way, it may be appropriate to do both braces and implants. There are options here and with appropriate diagnosis, you should have an excellent long-term result, both esthetically and functionally.

Lee Sheldon, DMD
Melbourne Dentist

Braces or dental implant to restore missing molar

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Molars carry the major occlusal load during chewing, and the 1st molar carries about 60% of the whole load, so it is essential to replace this tooth. In situation how you describe it, that you have crowding of the premolar or the canine (most likely the premolar, as they are usually affected) multiple approaches can be used. Even in the cases when the crowding of the premolars or anterior teeth will be addressed, it will most likely leave quite a big space due to the difference of the size between missing molar and the size of premolars. So, in the situations like that the implant crown would be the best option. The best way to find out what treatment is right for you - to get the orthodontic consult. Your age shouldn`t be a concern. If you have good periodontal health, the orthodontic treatment can be performed. 

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.