Although the majority of orthodontic patients are between the ages of 9 and 14, more and more adults are seeking orthodontic care. Older patients often mean older teeth that have required some kind of dental restoration throughout their lives. However, because it is tailored to your mouth and your specific oral alignment needs, orthodontic treatment is highly customizable and can be adapted to a variety of circumstances common in adults, including crowns or root canals.
Most braces systems—including traditional metal, ceramic, clear, and Damon—involve the same basic components. Wires are slotted through brackets that are adhered to the teeth. Tightening the wires applies the pressure necessary to guide the teeth and jaws into proper alignment.
If you have previous dental work, your treatment may progress just a little differently. Your orthodontist may decide to take a less aggressive approach, moving teeth more slowly with increased monitoring to avoid damaging a crown or filling. Extra care will also be taken in applying and removing any devices.
Orthodontic treatment should not affect other dental work as long as the crown, veneer, or filling is securely intact and healthy, and as long as your orthodontist has the required skill and experience to manage your treatment.
The only way to know for sure if you can benefit from orthodontic treatment despite factors like crowns, root canals, or missing teeth is to contact an American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) certified orthodontist. These specialists, in addition to traditional dental school, have completed an additional two or three years in an accredited orthodontic residency program and have the expertise necessary to evaluate your situation and identify your best possible treatment options.
Not only can you get braces after a root canal, but you can also get a root canal while in braces if needed. Braces are designed around the teeth needing to be moved, and not to interfere with routine dental care. If they are in the way, your orthodontist may simply remove the braces temporarily until the root canal is finished. Your orthodontist should ensure that your mouth has had enough time to heal after a root canal surgery before beginning your treatment or progressing through more adjustments. The general recommendation is between 1 and 2 months to be sure your treatment will not inflame or irritate already sensitive gums.
Your orthodontist can use a special adhesive to attach brackets to a filling. In other situations, bigger fillings may require spacers, or rubber bands, to make enough space for a bracket and bands.
Any existing cavities should be filled before beginning orthodontic treatment, but you can still get a filling if you need to after your braces are applied. A bracket may need to be removed to access the cavity but will be reattached after your procedure.
Enhanced oral hygiene is necessary no matter which orthodontic treatment you receive. While existing fillings will not pose a challenge, you will need to pay special attention to brushing, flossing, and what you eat to avoid future cavities and prevent the need for fillings while you are in treatment.
Successful orthodontic treatment may also be possible if you are missing teeth. Depending on a range of factors, including the severity of your condition, your orthodontist may be able to close the space of a missing tooth or even create or save enough space for a replacement tooth. This will allow you the option of dental implants after your treatment.
While dental implants cannot be moved, you may be able to move the surrounding teeth to improve alignment issues. Again, finding an experienced, AAO-certified orthodontist is essential for anyone seeking orthodontic treatment, but especially in unconventional situations where precise techniques and specialized skills are paramount.
There may be instances when fixing traditional metal brackets to the front of your teeth—or a filling, crown, or veneer—is not your best treatment option. In cases such as these, your orthodontist may opt to affix brackets to the back of your teeth or start you on a plan with removable braces, such as Invisalign, where nothing is attached to your teeth.
Ideally, any existing dental conditions, such as cavities, root canals, or gum disease should be addressed and resolved before beginning any type of orthodontic treatment. Not only can orthodontic treatment exacerbate these problems, but they can interfere with dental treatment, prolong your timeline, and potentially prevent the best dental care possible.
At Dental Depot, we pride ourselves on exceptional continuity of care for our patients. That’s why each of our four convenient orthodontic locations boasts a dedicated AAO-certified orthodontist on staff to help guide your family through oral changes and care beyond your routine cleanings. To learn more about your orthodontic treatment options, visit our website. You can find the Dental Depot location nearest you and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation for anyone in your family.
For more information on your orthodontic treatment options, or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our orthodontists, visit our website to find an Orthodontic office near you.