WHILE MOST PEOPLE HAVE thirty-two permanent teeth that develop (including the wisdom teeth) some people’s permanent teeth never grow in at all. These are called congenitally missing teeth—teeth missing from birth—and it’s actually more common than you think!
So, what do you do if you find out you or your child have one or more congenitally missing teeth?
Why Would a Tooth Be Congenitally Missing?
A lot of factors are at play when it comes to the complex process of tooth formation. Congenitally missing teeth can run in families, meaning that often it is simply an inherited trait. Certain systemic conditions can also result in missing teeth. Whatever the reason for congenitally missing teeth, the good news is that there are effective ways to treat it.
What Kinds of Treatments Are There for Missing Teeth?
Depending on your unique situation and personal preference, your dentist will recommend one or a combination of these treatments:
- Dental implants: This is most often the treatment of choice. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth. Combined with a crown specifically made to match your teeth, they are the most natural, functional and long-lasting treatment option.
- Dental bridge: Bridges, often considered the next best option, literally “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Crowns, placed on the two teeth adjacent to the gap, are connected to a false tooth that fills the space left by the missing tooth.
- Removable partial denture: This appliance consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. The removable denture simply rests on your natural teeth and gums.
- Orthodontic treatment: Oftentimes gaps left by missing teeth will cause the surrounding teeth to rotate and shift into the empty space, resulting in bad bite and other issues. Orthodontic treatment is often recommended to keep the gap open until treatment to replace the missing tooth is undertaken.
Your Dream Smile Is Our Goal
If you or your child have congenitally missing teeth, consult with us today about your options. Whatever your decided treatment plan, we’re dedicated to making sure you get the smile you’ve always dreamed of!
Making you smile makes our day!
Image by Flickr user KatieThebeau used underCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.