There’s a common misconception that you must wait until all of your permanent teeth are in before braces or orthodontic treatment can start. The truth is, you’re able to begin orthodontic treatment even if you don’t have all of your teeth. When it comes to the technology and expertise in the field of orthodontics, you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish all in a matter of months. Here’s how an orthodontist can help if you are missing a tooth.
If you have a gap due to a tooth having not yet erupted, your orthodontist can leave room for it to do so when they outfit you with braces, or a space maintainer appliance, depending on your age. This will help to ensure when the tooth does eventually erupt, it has somewhere to go without harming the adjacent teeth. Permanent teeth may come in anywhere between the ages of six and 12. They typically begin to come in between the ages of six and seven, so as you can see, it takes quite a bit of time for them to fully erupt. This means that you may not have all of your permanent teeth by 12 or 13 years of age, which is a prime time to begin treatment with braces or Invisalign.
Replacing the Tooth
If you’re an adult who already has their permanent teeth and may have lost one or doesn’t have one for one reason or another, your orthodontist may recommend a dental implant to replace the missing tooth. This dental prosthesis looks just like a regular tooth and is attached to the jaw bone surgically. Your orthodontist can also leave room for dental implants when they are designing your treatment plan, so don’t be afraid to let them know your plans if you’re considering dental implants. Ideally, orthodontic treatment would be done prior to having any implants placed, so be sure to see an orthodontist before completing this process.
Closing the Gap
Modern orthodontics can achieve some remarkable things, which is wonderful news when you have a gap between your teeth. Oftentimes, patients think the gap can’t be closed, but for some patients, this is a definite possibility. Your orthodontist may be able to bring the surrounding teeth together during your treatment to close the gap. This can avoid the need to explore the world of dental implants, which can mean saving money and time.
If one or more of your teeth are impacted, a simple surgical procedure may be used to lift the gum on the impacted teeth and expose the area. Once the impacted tooth or teeth are exposed, the oral surgeon can attach a bracket to the tooth, so when it finally comes into place, it falls in line with the other teeth that already have brackets on them. Your orthodontist can then resume treatment as normal.
There are a number of ways an orthodontist can help you when you’re missing a tooth, so don’t worry that treatment isn’t for you. Although everyone’s situation is unique, there’s a way to get a spectacular smile no matter what, so trust in your orthodontist and their expertise.
The team at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists has helped many patients and is ready to help you too! Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started.