If you've always been dissatisfied with the alignment of your teeth, but your parents couldn't afford (or wouldn't pay for) orthodontic treatment while you were a tween or teen, you may finally be considering braces. However, you may wonder whether you can even seek orthodontic treatment when you already have one or more dental crowns. In other cases, getting a new crown while your orthodontic treatment is underway could potentially pose problems for your braces. Read on to learn more about how crowns and other fairly common dental repairs can impact later orthodontia, as well as some precautions you may need to take if you find yourself in need of a crown after getting braces.
Can you get braces if you have a dental crown?
Fortunately, in most cases your orthodontic treatment shouldn't be at all affected by your crowns, bridges, or other dental work and vice versa. This is true whether you have metal or plastic braces.
Traditional metal braces work by using wires threaded through brackets glued to your teeth to slowly pull your teeth into a more aesthetically pleasing position. Plastic or "invisible" braces are composed of a thin plastic tray that is custom-fitted to your mouth, but with slight modifications to help guide your teeth into place. Although many opt for invisible braces due to concerns about their career advancement or social life, metal braces are often more appropriate for those whose teeth need a great deal of correction.
Unless an existing crown is already loose, the brackets used to affix metal braces shouldn't be enough to cause any damage. And because invisible braces can be periodically removed to allow you to eat, drink, and brush your teeth, they should have even less of an effect on your crowns over time. Since your crowns should be securely attached to the remaining tooth structure beneath, even in the absence of a live root, they can serve as an adequate anchor for orthodontic correction.
What happens if you need to get a crown after your braces have been fitted?
While crowns are far from the type of preexisting dental condition that can disqualify you from orthodontic treatment, having one or more crowns placed while you're undergoing treatment with metal braces can be a bit more of a challenge than undergoing treatment with crowns that have already been installed. If you have invisible braces, you should be able to simply remove them before your procedure and replace them after (sometimes having them slightly refitted to accommodate the new crown). However, those with metal braces may need to have at least a portion of these braces removed to have the crown placed. These braces may be replaced during the same appointment as your crown placement, or you may be required to return a few days (or weeks) later. Your dentist will also need to decide whether to have a bracket glued onto your new crown or to stick with the use of surrounding teeth as an anchor.
Despite these potential complications, it is important to seek treatment whenever you suspect you may have a cavity or other dental issue lurking beneath your braces. Even if you do have to have a crown placed, this process shouldn't set your orthodontic treatment back by more than a few weeks (or just a few days if you have invisible braces). On the other hand, an unfilled cavity may degrade your tooth enamel so much that a crown is no longer an option, leaving you with little choice but to have the tooth pulled and replaced with a dental implant at much greater cost. To learn more about crowns and braces, contact a representative from an establishment like Bae & Bae Family Denistry.