Bronx, NY – Missing teeth are a common dental issue. More than 175 million people are missing at least one tooth. But as we’ve discussed before, that doesn’t hinder you from improving your smile through orthodontic treatment. But what can you expect from your orthodontic treatment if you have a restoration or are currently missing a tooth or teeth?
“It’s not uncommon for orthodontists to treat patients who are either missing a tooth/teeth or who have restorations, such as bridges or crowns,” says Dr. Catherine Woo of Riverdale Family Orthodontics. “Invisalign is a great option for our adult orthodontic patients who may have restorations in place already.”
Invisalign with a crown
If you are one of the many adult patients with a dental crown, don’t worry – you can still get excellent Invisalign results. Before beginning treatment we will do an examination to ensure that your crown is securely held in place. The Invisalign aligners place pressure on your teeth, so this is important so that it won’t become dislodged during your treatment.
Invisalign with a partial denture
Invisalign can still be a good option if you have a partial denture. In this case, we may ask you not to wear the prosthetic during your treatment, and we’ll program the shape of a tooth in that location in the aligners. This will prevent other teeth from trying to move into that spot. This will allow us to align the teeth, without compromising the space where the partial denture will go after. However, most likely after aligning the teeth, your old partial denture will no longer fit since your teeth are now in a different position than before.
Invisalign with a dental bridge
Invisalign is still possible with bridges, but it may take more planning. A dental bridge is a fake tooth or teeth that uses the teeth on either side of it to act as anchors. Because orthodontic treatment focuses on treating the entire mouth and not just one or two individual teeth, we may need to remove the bridge while you are in treatment or we might leave the bridge alone entirely depending on the situation.
Invisalign with implants
Implants do not move like normal teeth. So if you already have them, we will work around them; but if you are considering implants, it is better to seek orthodontic treatment prior to placement of implants for aligning the teeth, the bite and making proper spacing for the restorations.
Invisalign with veneers
Veneers can make a smile more aesthetically pleasing. They may help with very mild alignment issues and can brighten a smile or hide cracking or chipping. If you already have veneers, we will work around them most likely so it is more ideal to see an orthodontist for a consult before receiving veneers, just like implants to plan for the restorations after treatment, aligning the teeth, the bite and making proper spacing for the restorations.
“It’s also important to understand why patients should seek out care from an orthodontist, especially if you have restorations or missing teeth,” says Dr. Woo. “Orthodontists have years of training and have treated a variety of cases, including helping patients who have restorations or missing teeth. We understand the ins and outs of correcting bites and working around restorations. Our training has provided us with the skills needed to help patients with even the most challenging issues.”
With that in mind, Dr. Woo also warns her patients about the dangers of at-home aligner kits. There are several on the market, but this is not the ideal way for most people to improve their smile. And this is especially true if you have any underlying issues, such as restorations or periodontal disease, that could impact your final result.
“When you are seeing an orthodontist in person regularly, we can check in on the progress of your treatment and make adjustments as needed,” says Dr. Woo. “Not only that, we can determine if aligners are even the most ideal option for you before you begin treatment. In some cases, another form of treatment might be the best course of action. With at-home aligner kits, you never see an orthodontist in person, and you may be causing more harm to your smile.”
If you have restorations or are missing teeth but would like to improve your bite and the functionality of your smile, call Dr. Woo and her team at Riverdale Family Orthodontics today, 718-884-7700.