The implants are titanium pins used to replace the missing teeth. Titanium is actually a neutral biocompatible metal which is not regarded as a foreign body and not rejected. Prior to placement of the implant, the patient’s interdental spaces should be adjusted by an orthodontist and then the implant is placed in the empty space at the end of the orthodontic treatment
In the past, the toothless space was filled through a technique called Crown Bridge, in which healthy teeth were cut and covered with the crown. Of course, cutting a healthy tooth is not a good approach. In contrast, the implants do not damage the adjacent teeth.
- The biocompatible titanium implants are not identified as foreign objects by the human body object.
- Very long persistence
- High cost
- After a few years, the color of implant crown may be slightly changed in comparison with the surrounding teeth and the patient may need to replace the crown
- If proper oral hygiene is not observed, gums may recess leading to a distance between the crown and the root of the implant and hence to an inappropriate appearance in the anterior teeth
- Implant is not suitable for smokers, diabetics and patients with a weak immune system
- Inferior implants may break when placing in the mouth causing problems for the patient
Implant and orthodontics
Orthodontically, patients with one or more missed teeth due to trauma or congenital defects are treated in two ways:
- Orthodontic closing of interdental space
- Adjusting the interdental space and placing the implant
Closing the space has more advantages than dental implants, but this method is not applicable in some patients because it depends on the teeth inclination, facial profile, jaw position, gingival condition and patient’s radiographs.
Finally, it should be acknowledged that the implant is an artificial tooth and it is preferable to avoid implants as far as possible, especially in the anterior teeth, and to close the spaces between the teeth if possible with orthodontic treatment.
Treatment without implant
Two figures below demonstrate the teeth before and after treatment; although two maxillary teeth are missing congenitally, the space is closed successfully without using implants.