Braces or Dental Implants?

I have two missing teeth (pre-molars) on the lower jaw. I am currently in braces to straighten the teeth to prepare for an implant on the left side. I want to do the same on the right side but my orthodontist insists that he can close the space on the right without an implant as there is not enough room for an implant. I saw one specialist who thinks there is enough space but my orthodontist is still not convinced and recommends against it. Any advice on the topic will be highly appreciated.

Doctor Answers 2

Both implants and space closure work fine in the right circumstances.

Health care providers often differ  in their approach to a particular treatment problem. My experience is that such differences are easily resolved if there is communication among the patient and all the involved providers. Since implants and space closure are both reasonable solutions, sorting out what is best for you can be most easily accomplished by having the doctors speak with each other, compare their reasons for making their recommendations, and agree on the approach that is most compatible with the other things that need to be corrected. There is no substitute for clear communication!

Mercer Island Orthodontist

Generally speaking, closing spaces with braces can have bad side effects

If it is possible, I would recommend to place an implant where a tooth is missing.  If there is not enough room, create the room orthodontically.  It is certainly easier to just close spaces with braces, but they don't always stay closed, and narrower arches can lead to TMJ problems.  I would suggest a second opinion from another orthodontist.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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.