Dental Implants or Braces First?


If you have missing teeth that you want to be replaced with dental implants and you also need braces, which should come first?

Diagram of three phases of dental implants, for information on implants and diabetes from the office of Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Dental implants fuse to the bone and won’t move with orthodontic treatment

Here are a few facts about dental implants and orthodontic treatment. They will help you understand the priority for your smile.

Dental Implants

  • Usually made of titanium
  • Surgically implanted in your jawbone
  • Require bone grafting if you don’t have enough jawbone density
  • Require a three to six month healing period so the implants fuse with your jawbone
  • Feel and function like natural teeth
  • Permanently in place and don’t contain ligaments like natural teeth to allow them to be repositioned during orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic Treatment

  • Correctly aligns your teeth
  • Often needed to move teeth that drifted into empty spaces where teeth are missing and to make room for dental implants
  • Will move your natural teeth, but the implants won’t budge

Dental Implants After Braces

Orthodontic treatment

Most often, orthodontic treatment should be completed before you receive dental implants. Otherwise, as your teeth shift, the implants can damage them because braces are unable to move dental implants along with your teeth. The rigid implants can damage your teeth as they move to the correct position.

Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist to discuss your goals for your oral health. He or she will work with your implant dentist to ensure you get quality tooth replacement and alignment.

Implant placement

Find at least two skilled implant dentists to discuss your need for tooth replacement. Before you schedule an appointment for a consultation look for the following:

  • Advanced training
  • Extensive experience
  • Implant credentials

Implant restoration/crown

An experienced cosmetic dentist can provide you with lifelike dental crowns for the implants. And if you’re considering teeth whitening, it should be completed before you receive dental crowns. This ensures the crowns will match your bright smile.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Porcelain Veneers Needed after Chemotherapy?


I have two months of chemotherapy to complete after successful colon surgery. I’ve found a chemo side-effects fact sheet online, but it doesn’t say if my teeth will be affected. Will I need porcelain veneers or some other kind of cosmetic dentistry? Maybe I shouldn’t worry, but I’m concerned about the added expense of needing dental work. I’ve already incurred so many out-of-pocket expenses, and I want to know what to expect. Thanks, Gene.


Chemotherapy can affect your teeth. But whether or not you will need porcelain veneers after treatment depends on several factors, including:

  • Length of your chemo treatment
  • Condition of your teeth before and after treatment
  • Whether or not other cosmetic dentistry options will be effective

Chemotherapy Can Affect Your Teeth

There are side effects of chemotherapy, such as vomiting and dry mouth that can affect your teeth. Dental problems increase with the length of the chemotherapy treatment.

  • Acid in your mouth – The acid from vomiting can erode tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. If chemotherapy causes you to vomit, you can neutralize the acid. Add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth with the mixture. After 30 minutes, brush your teeth with an extra soft toothbrush.
  • Dry mouth – If the chemotherapy causes your mouth to be dry, the dryness can promote plaque and tooth decay. Keep your mouth moist throughout the day by chewing sugarless gum, sucking on sugar-free candy or ice chips, or by sipping water. Ask your dentist for prescription fluoride toothpaste to help prevent decay, and floss your teeth twice daily.
  • Other oral side effects – There are other oral side effects of chemotherapy. Speak with your dentist and your oncologist about the side effects and what can be done to preserve your teeth and oral health.

Will You Need Porcelain Veneers?

Photo of dental forceps holding a single porcelain veneers, from the office of accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Szarek of Lowell, MA.

Porcelain veneer

We recommend that you speak with your dentist before you start chemotherapy. Let him or her know when you’ll start treatment. Your dentist will be able to anticipate your oral health needs and monitor the effects of treatment on your teeth.

If you need cosmetic work after you’ve finished chemotherapy, there might be alternatives to porcelain veneers. At times, chairside dental bonding can conceal signs of wear and discoloration on teeth. Dental bonding is less expensive than porcelain veneers. An experienced cosmetic dentist can produce beautiful results with bonding and make it blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. He or she will examine your teeth and let you know your options.


This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.