Dental Implants Effective For Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontists have been straightening teeth for decades relying on the ancient physics principle "every action has a reaction," in which tooth displacement in one part of the jaw causes movement on the other as well. Use of dental implants as orthodontic anchors, however, is changing that principle by expediting treatment times and expanding possibilities for previously untreatable cases, according to research presented at the American Academy of Implant Dentistry Annual Scientific Meeting.
"Dental implants are changing the way orthodontics is being practiced," said Frank Celenza, DDS, associate clinical professor, New York University College of Dentistry. "In conventional orthodontics, teeth are used to move other teeth, but implants can serve as excellent anchors from which force is applied to move the targeted teeth without causing shifts in other teeth."
In his plenary session presentation, Celenza explained the use of implants as sources of orthodontic anchorage is a powerful technique that has just begun to be explored.
"In our studies, we're already seeing cases in which implants simplify and streamline orthodontic therapy, decrease treatment times, and eliminate dependence on patient compliance in making adjustments and wearing orthodontic appliances," said Celenza. "Because the anchor systems are so much more predictable and stronger when implants are incorporated, the temporal sequencing of tooth movements is eliminated and teeth can be moved en masse or all together. Consequently, treatment times easily can be reduced by a third."
Celenza added that implants can be used in any orthodontic case that requires tooth replacement, as well as for fully dentate patients. "Cases progress faster when implants are used as anchorage, but not because teeth are subject to higher force levels. Rather, it's is the result of a more efficient appliance design that provides the ability to move multiple teeth simultaneously rather than individually, as is necessary in conventional orthodontics."
Dental implants also make it possible for some patients to receive orthodontic treatment that previously would not be feasible. "Patients with severe orthodontic deformities now can be reevaluated to determine if orthodontic dental implants could provide successful outcomes," said Celenza. "In one case of a 63 year old woman with severe protrusions and very unattractive dentition, I was able to retract her entire maxillary dentition, which improved overall alignment and facial profile and achieved a very impressive and satisfying result with relative ease."
Commenting on the significance of the research, AAID President Jaime Lozada, DDS said the orthodontic implant application further underscores the versatility of dental implants for both restorative and cosmetic dental procedures.