What Are Orthodontic Implants?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 27 May 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Orthodontic implants are used to decrease the time it takes to reposition teeth while a person is wearing orthodontic hardware such as braces. These implants, which are also referred to as dental implants, are screwed into the jaw and help create targeted pressure on one or many teeth. Installing these devices requires minor outpatient surgery and can usually be completed with one visit to the orthodontist. Once the treatment is complete, orthodontic implants need to be surgically removed by an orthodontist.

With a similar shape as the root of a tooth, orthodontic implants are embedded all the way into a patient's bone, just as the roots of teeth are. The end of the implant that goes into the bone tapers to a point and is threaded much like a screw. The patient is put under general anesthesia while the implants are put in. These devices are installed through a small incision in the gums. Once the implant is in place, the patient is usually released from the office with no need to be hospitalized.

After an orthodontic implant is surgically installed, the patient needs time to heal before the implant can be used. Though the implant is fixed into the bone, it could be pulled out or moved if attached to orthodontics before healing is finished. It usually takes a few months after the implant surgery for the orthodontic implants to be ready for use.

Once orthodontic implants are secure, the orthodontist can use them to help move teeth into the desired position. In the past, teeth were pushed into position by other teeth in the patient's mouth, using the wires of braces or retainers to control the direction of that movement. With the use of implants, these devices can put pressure on the patient's teeth. This can decrease the amount of time it takes to move teeth around, because many teeth can be moved at once and because the implant is more stable than the patient's other teeth.

Patients with braces, headgear and other types of orthodontic hardware can benefit from the use of orthodontic implants. An implant installed in the roof of the mouth can even eliminate the need for headgear all together by forming a central point of pressure from within the patient's mouth. These devices have also made it possible for people who were poor candidates for orthodontic correction to improve the alignment of their teeth.


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