What are missing teeth?
Missing teeth is an orthodontic concern characterised by absent adult or baby teeth from where they should be in the mouth, often resulting in a gap or spacing.
What causes it?
- Missing teeth may be the result of:
- Accident or trauma
- Planned removal due to dental decay, gum disease, or even orthodontic treatment
- Impaction – where a baby or adult tooth is stuck in the jaw bone or palate (roof of the mouth) and cannot naturally “erupt” into the mouth
- Tooth agenesis – where you are simply born without one or more of your teeth
What impact does it have?
The spacing caused by missing teeth may have a cosmetic impact on the sufferer, as well as affecting the ability to maintain good oral hygiene. It may also put undue pressure on one or more of your jaw joints and cause premature tooth wear. In some cases, the space from an absent tooth can cause the opposing tooth to “super erupt” where it continues to grow in the direction of its missing neighbour in a manner that can be detrimental to its own health.
How is it treated?
Missing teeth can be addressed in a number of ways – some of which may not involve orthodontic treatment.
Absent teeth can be replaced with a prosthetic (false) tooth or teeth using one of the following methods:
- A partial or full denture (plate)
- A dental bridge – where a floating “pontic” tooth is attached to a crown (a ceramic or metal jacket over the tooth) on the teeth beside the gap, forming a bridge across the space
- A dental implant is placed into the bone with a prosthetic tooth attached
To find out more about missing teeth, and your treatment options, contact us today to organise a free consultation with Specialist Orthodontist, Dr David Austin.