One of the topics in dentistry that doesn’t get much attention is teeth missing from birth. Occasionally, the tooth buds for one or more teeth just don’t form, but the jaw does. One might think that this is no big deal, since we’ll eventually have 31 others to compensate. But missing teeth allow erupting and existing teeth to drift into the empty space. Sometimes, drifting also makes spaces between healthy teeth, and these spaces wedge food. This can damage the gums or create cavities. Drifting also creates problems that require an orthodontist to correct, but some don’t pursue braces.
To avoid problems, it is best for a dentist to place a “space maintainer” in the place where a tooth doesn’t form. Once the jaw is finished developing, this space is filled with a “bridge”, three crowns connected together and cemented in place to bridge the gap and stabilize existing teeth.
I’ve treated many adults who have tipped and rotated teeth because they had congenitally missing teeth or permanent teeth removed at an early age. There is an extra level of planning that goes into designing a crown or bridge that functions properly, when chewing. I enjoy the challenge and, because Prosthodontics is my dental specialty, I find solutions that others may not consider.
Contact Winterset Dental today to find out which treatment is right for you.