young adult girl smiling with bracesIf you are looking for your perfect, healthy smile, you might need multiple cosmetic dentistry procedures to achieve it. This might include dental restorations as well as procedures like teeth whitening or orthodontics. 

But can orthodontics work if you already have dental restorations like crowns, bridges, veneers, or implants? Yes, they can work. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

Can New Restorations Do the Work of Orthodontics?

Dental veneers and other cosmetic restorations are powerful, capable of correcting numerous cosmetic problems, including teeth that are:

  • Crooked
  • Rotated
  • Gapped

If these are the concerns you hope to address with orthodontics, maybe new restorations can do the work instead. Instead of moving your teeth, our Fort Atkinson cosmetic dentists can replace your old restorations with ones that reshape your teeth, so they fit together perfectly in an attractive smile. 

This has the advantage of being faster, more convenient, and capable of achieving better cosmetic results. Orthodontics can take a year or more to complete. In the end, you’re stuck with your old restorations and natural teeth that might be discolored or worn. Using restorations to reshape your teeth–what is sometimes called “instant orthodontics”–is especially appropriate if you already have restorations on some or all of the teeth you want to move. 

Orthodontics with Dental Veneers or Crowns

Dental crowns and veneers can be an obstacle to orthodontic treatment. 

The main problem is that it’s hard to get orthodontic brackets from traditional braces to bond to dental crowns and veneers. If we could get them to bond, we’d worry that the bond between the veneer and bracket might be stronger than the bond between the veneer and the tooth. The veneer might break or pull off slowly, creating opportunities for bacteria to slip between the teeth and the veneers. 

For traditional braces, your Fort Atkinson cosmetic dentist can use a band around teeth with veneers or crowns. However, it’s usually best in this case to use Invisalign. Invisalign and ClearCorrect can usually work without bonding anything to the teeth. The aligners push teeth rather than pulling them. This means they aren’t likely to break restorations or separate them from your teeth. 

If you do need movements that would require Invisalign attachments (such as rotating teeth or moving them up or down), we may decide to accomplish those by replacing the restoration with one fitted to the new space. 

Orthodontics with Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are even more problematic for orthodontics. A dental bridge usually creates a three-tooth unit: a replacement tooth supported by crowns over two natural teeth. Orthodontics wants to move each tooth individually. 

To successfully manage orthodontic treatment with dental bridges, your Fort Atkinson cosmetic dentist will usually choose one of two approaches:

  • Using the bridge as a fixed anchor
  • Cutting the bridge so teeth can move separately

Often, orthodontics benefits from using a dental bridge as a fixed anchor. This gives the braces additional leverage in moving your other teeth. The additional leverage can help your other teeth move faster and achieve their desired locations sooner. 

If you want to move the teeth of a bridge, it’s best to separate them so they can move individually. This involves cutting the bridge apart. The support teeth will still have crowns over them, but the crowns will be separate. There are still the same issues with dental crowns that we discussed above, but it can be done. In this case, once orthodontic treatment is finished, your Fort Atkinson dentist will remake the bridge for its new location.  

Orthodontics with Dental Implants

Dental implants are the tooth replacement that is most like your natural teeth. They look like natural teeth and function like them in almost every way. However, the difference between implants and natural teeth matters when it comes to orthodontics. 

Orthodontics moves your teeth by applying pressure. In response to that pressure, your body removes bone from one side of the tooth and builds it up on the other, allowing the tooth to move. This work of removing bone and building it up is influenced by the periodontal ligament–soft tissue that connects the tooth to your jawbone. 

A dental implant doesn’t have a periodontal ligament. While pressure can still cause the body to remodel bone, without the activity of the periodontal ligament, the response is much slower, riskier, and with uncertain results. 

If you are considering orthodontics and dental implants, it’s best to complete your orthodontic work before getting implants. If you want orthodontic work after getting dental implants, it’s unlikely that your dental implants will move. It’s best to approximate the movement of your implants with new restorations that can alter the visible part while leaving the implant root in place. 

What about Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy and Restorations?

How will orofacial myofunctional therapy work with your dental restorations? Typically, there are few to no effects from your dental restorations on orofacial myofunctional therapy. Orofacial myofunctional therapy relies mostly on the function of your tongue, cheeks, and muscles, which can interact with restorations in a similar way to how they interact with teeth. 

Most of the removable appliances used with therapy won’t cause a problem for your restorations. Just make sure to remind your Fort Atkinson orofacial myofunctional therapist about your restorations when starting. 

Dental implants and bridges might not move as much as other teeth, but usually, this won’t hamper your results too much. 

Considering Orthodontics in Fort Atkinson?

If you are considering orthodontics in Fort Atkinson, let BKS dental help. We have helped patients of all ages and all dental conditions get great results from orthodontic treatments. 

Please call (920) 563-7323 or use our online form to request an appointment with BKS Dental in Fort Atkinson, across the street from Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, near Johnson Bank.