Congenitally Missing Teeth
Welcoming the arrival of your children’s teeth is one of the pleasures of parenthood, but sometimes one or more teeth never break through the gum line. Congenitally missing teeth are teeth that never appear during childhood and aren't trapped in the gum. In many cases, missing one or two teeth is simply a family trait, but occasionally a separate genetic condition is the cause. The most common congenitally missing teeth that we see are wisdom teeth (also known as 3rd molars) and lateral incisors, which are the teeth that sit on either side of the two front teeth.
What are the effects of congenitally missing teeth?
Besides the cosmetic effects of congenitally missing teeth, they can actually cause dental problems. The surrounding teeth can become less stable, causing them to move into the missing space by shifting forward. Missing teeth can also impair the support of the jaw and the ability to chew and speak.
Treatments for Congenitally Missing Teeth
Your oral surgeon can replace missing teeth with partial bridges, dentures or implants. A partial bridge anchors a false tooth to the healthy teeth on each side of the gap, while a denture replaces a whole set of teeth and partial dentures replace a few teeth. Dental implants consist of a titanium implant that is inserted into your jaw bone and a crown that is attached to the top of the implant abutment, to mimic a natural tooth.
Why do I need to replace a missing tooth that no one can see?
Chewing strength, lack of shifting of adjacent teeth, and eventual preservation of the teeth that you can see are reasons to restore teeth. Once you lose a tooth, your biting strength changes, and the bite itself will shift. If you do not have any back teeth to chew with, then the front teeth (the more cosmetic ones) will have unusual stress and strain on them. This will lead to atypical wearing patterns, more shifting of bite, and eventual fracture of the front teeth.
If you have missing teeth for any reason, we invite you to contact our team to discuss your options. Remember, a consultation is not a commitment! Our team is here for you to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.