One of the many goals of orthodontic treatment is the re-formation of optimal facial esthetics (Thomas Balshi, 1994). This includes the correction of malocclusions, the improvement of occlusal function, and general dental alignment and harmony of the mouth.
If you looked in the mirror and noticed you have missing teeth, you may have many questions. The official name for this diagnosis is hypodontia or missing adult teeth. Hypodontia may run in families and affects about 5% of the population. The condition is diagnosed after a dental examination and an x-ray(British Orthodontic Society, 2014).
Some people who seek orthodontic treatment may need to do so for any number of reasons such as having a tooth extracted or possibly you already had one that was missing. Teeth can be missing for a wide variety of causes. Perhaps you had an accident that knocked one out, or perhaps it was taken out professionally either to clear up space due to overcrowding or because of an infection or other health concerns.
In fact, some people have congenitally missing teeth (Thomas Balshi,1994). Regardless of what the cause is, many individuals feel very self-conscious about that gap in their teeth. It is especially hard for individuals for whom the gap is in the front, meaning every time they smile there is a large opening in their teeth. This can cause many individuals to worry about how others will perceive them. However, there are ways of helping to address the problem.
One thing that many individuals ask who happen to have a missing tooth is how to fill a missing tooth gap? Solutions people are sure to ask about include: can you get braces with missing teeth? Are there any problems with getting braces with missing tooth? How effective are the braces and can braces close gaps? Is getting braces with missing teeth recommended? And if you can use brace for gap in teeth, what will your teeth be like for braces with missing teeth before and after the procedure?
Can braces be used with missing tooth?
Let’s start off with the first question: can you use braces if you happen to have a missing tooth? The answer is a resounding yes. According to the British Orthodontic Society(British Orthodontic Society, 2014), treatment usually involves wearing fixed braces. Though, you may also need bridges or implants to replace the missing teeth. However, the type of treatment needed depends on your age and the number of teeth that are missing.
Braces are not as dependent on whether you happen to have teeth or not in certain positions but rather are dependent upon whether your orthodontic office believes that your teeth will be able to shift and move safely over time and into their new positions. A tooth being extracted may even be part of getting you ready for utilizing braces for missing teeth.
Sometimes when it’s not due to health or accidents, teeth need to be removed occasionally to make space for the rest of your teeth to come in properly. If your teeth are overcrowded, this can lead to misalignment which will not only skew your beautiful smile but will also make it impossible for your teeth to be seated in the correct positions. If an orthodontist removes a tooth, this will oftentimes be followed up with braces as the two go hand in hand, helping to make sure that your teeth not only have the space but are also properly aligned.
Will getting braces help with my tooth gap?
Again the answer to this question is an absolute yes. There are a few ways in which getting braces can help to fix this gap. One way, and the most common, is that if your teeth were overcrowded in the first place, then removing the tooth which is causing the overcrowding and utilizing braces to help pull the rest of the teeth into position will close the gap.
That gap does not exist as a permanent fixture in your mouth but rather as the extra space that your teeth need to be able to move into the correct position. By removing the tooth, you now have the space to get the rest of your teeth to shuffle into the right place, giving you the correct bite and tooth alignment you need to maintain maximum oral health and your beautiful smile.
Another way in which braces for missing teeth can be used is to help make space for a false tooth. When your teeth are all in the correct position, if there are still gaps in your teeth, your orthodontic office could be preparing an area for a false tooth to be installed. This could be done if you do not have either enough space or your tooth has the wrong shape. You could also simply have the gap for other reasons. Preparing an area for a false tooth by making sure it has the space to be installed properly is a big reason why braces can help individuals with a gap, regardless of whatever the particular cause of it is.
Why fix the gap and teeth?
There will always be some individuals who wonder why it is important to fix this gap in their teeth. After all,it certainly would be nice aesthetically to have the gap closed, but is it really all that big of a deal? This is something you would need to talk with your orthodontic office about. Potentially a gap in your teeth can be quite a big deal.
For starters, if your food is making regular contact with your gums instead of your teeth due to a missing tooth, you can potentially open yourself up for a whole variety of oral health problems. Your teeth are designed to crush and grind the food, but if it is your gums that are instead coming in contact with the food, they may be getting scratched. Also, improperly chewed food may lead to having plaque buildup on your other teeth. You are potentially inviting oral disaster when it comes to any number of diseases and conditions that can occur with infected gums. Gums are sensitive and are not designed to be the primary contact for eating.
Another reason why it may be important to close gaps is simply because your teeth are not aligned properly. Gaps can also form when there is misalignment of the teeth. So even if you are perfectly comfortable with the gap, misalignment of the teeth can lead to things like bites not making the proper contact and this opens you up for the possibility of cavities and other oral health problems further down the line.
And of course the last reason to consider braces for missing teeth is it simply looks better if you do not have a gaping hole in your mouth. Aesthetics can be important for some individuals and getting that gap filled can be a huge boost to your personal self-confidence.
With all that in mind, why not schedule a free consultation with a quality orthodontic office like Ivanov Orthodontic Experts and find out what your particular needs are, and if your local orthodontic office can help utilize braces to fix your gap.
One of the big reasons why people visit an orthodontist is that they need to correct gaps in their teeth. This condition can occur for a wide variety of reasons. You may have lost teeth due to a hard hit in sports, or you may have been in an auto accident and had the airbags deploy, knocking some teeth out.
Hypodontia may happen if teeth just do not erupt or are missing all together. Some people may be missing one tooth or multiple teeth at once. You may want to seek specific treatment options depending on the severity of your scenario.
Depending on your specific case, your options include simply accepting the space and living with it or using braces to close the space. There may be another optionwhich is creating the space for dental implants, dentures, or dental bridges. A third option is to use clear aligners to close the gaps and align the teeth.
If you had to have a tooth pulled due to dental disease, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist who can prescribe the best course of treatment for you. For some, this treatment will include the use of braces. You can ask your orthodontist for further information about how braces will help you specifically.
British Orthodontic Society (BOS). (2014). Hypodontia. https://www.bos.org.uk/Portals/0/Public/docs/PILs/hypondontiaaug14.pdf
Thomas Balshi. (1994). Osseointegration and orthodontics: Modern treatment for congenitally missing teeth. The International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry, 13(6), 494–505. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/15017173_Osseointegration_and_orthodontics_Modern_treatment_for_congenitally_missing_teeth