Were you or your child born with less than the standard number of teeth? This condition is known as hypodontia or congenitally missing teeth. Mostly you will find the permanent teeth to be missing. But sometimes, hypodontia can also affect baby teeth. The gap created because of hypodontia teeth may or may not be visible.
Who Gets Affected?
As hypodontia primarily affects permanent teeth, it is more prevalent in adults. Leaving wisdom teeth aside, approximately 5% of grown-ups and 1% of children face the issue of missing teeth.
Let’s go through the potential oral health issues caused by missing teeth and its 5 most prevalent treatment options.
Oral Health Problems Due to Hypodontia
Hypodontia teeth can subside on their own with the growth of permanent teeth. Therefore dentists prefer to wait if a child is missing baby teeth. Also, not all cases of permanent missing teeth pose an oral health issue. Your dentist can tell you whether there is a need for hypodontia treatment or not. However, if your missing teeth are troublesome, you will likely face any of the following oral health issues.
- Crooked Teeth
- Shifting Teeth
- Difficulty in Chewing
- Irregular Bite
- Facial Sagging
- Speech Problems
- Jaw Problems
Missing Teeth Treatment
Treatment for hypodontia is possible through less invasive methods like braces, or you may need a dental implant. It all depends upon individual conditions. Following are the 5 most popular treatment methods for missing teeth which your dentist can suggest to you:-
Braces are one solution to numerous dental issues, including hypodontia. The metal brackets or bands of braces are fitted to your teeth. These brackets push your teeth gradually towards the desired position. Braces move your teeth in such a way that they can fill the gaps created by the missing teeth.
If you want your treatment to be discreet, you can opt for invisible braces like Invisalign. But braces are not ideal if your gaps are too big or you have multiple gaps.
Dentures are the false tooth that your dentist uses to fill the gap. The dentures can be fixed or removable. They are ideal for multiple missing teeth as they are cheaper than other invasive treatments like dental bridges and implants. Single tooth dentures are also readily available.
Dentures help in chewing food and betterment of your appearance. But there is a downside of both types. Fixed dentures are hard to clean. On the other hand, it is challenging to keep flexible dentures in the mouth.
3. Dental Bridge
A bridge is basically a prosthetic tooth bonded to the teeth of either side of the missing tooth. There are fixed and removable types of dental bridges available with dentists. Removable bridges are helpful for patients with the weak jawbone. However, the dentist will advise the fixed dental bridge if your jawbone is strong.
A dental bridge is suitable for front teeth and back teeth as well. This treatment method is cheaper and quicker in comparison to the subsequent hypodontia treatment in line and, i.e., implants.
Implants are fitted with a metal screw in your jawbone with a crown as a false tooth on the top. An implant is a long-lasting solution, and it doesn’t affect the surrounding teeth. It looks and works like an original tooth. However, implants won’t work for you if you are missing a premolar or your jawbone is not dense enough to secure the screw.
Also, the implant can be used as a missing teeth treatment only if you are above 18. This is because dentists need a fully grown jaw to perform the procedure of fitting the implant.
5. Bonding and Veneers
Bonding and veneers are used to treat microdontia, which is a closely related condition to hypodontia. You have microdontia if you have some tooth in the place of a missing tooth, but it is smaller than usual. In this case, bonding and veneers built up the rest of the tooth.
Both bonding and veneers blend perfectly with your surrounding natural teeth. However, the bonding resin may darken overtime, but the veneers are stain-resistant.
You have nothing to worry about, as these hypodontia treatment options can address all the oral health issues caused due to missing teeth. Your dentist will recommend a suitable plan for you based on your overall oral health. Your budget and insurance cover will also be the determining factors.
Creating perfect smiles is what Dr. Satish Pai is committed to. An orthodontist by profession, he believes that a perfect smile is a powerful part of a person’s personality. When he is not working hard on perfecting his patients’ smiles at Putnam Ortho, he is busy writing engaging articles about everything related to healthy and perfect smiles. His other passions include golf, yoga and surfing. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face.
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