Did you know that some people are born without certain teeth? As children grow, dentists can use X-rays to see the development and eruption patterns of their adult teeth. With these images it is also possible to see if there are any missing (or extra) teeth. Without X-rays, the missing teeth may not become evident until years down the road, when crowding or bite problems begin to develop.
What causes missing teeth? Most of the time it is an inherited condition. The mother or father is missing the same exact teeth. Letting your dentist know about risk factors like this can help you be on the lookout for missing teeth. The most common teeth that are naturally missing include wisdom teeth (3rd molars) and upper lateral incisors (the teeth just next to your two top front teeth.)
Do missing teeth cause problems? It depends. Missing wisdom teeth are usually a blessing, rather than a curse! However, other missing teeth can significantly impact your smile as well as your oral health. If teeth are missing, other teeth will have irregular spacing or even be crooked because of the role that the missing tooth has to play.
What can you do about missing teeth? There are a number of options. Some people choose to use orthodontic therapy to move other teeth around for better spacing and aesthetics. Others prefer to retain proper tooth spacing and replace the tooth with an option such as an implant, flipper, or bridge. A space maintainer can help preserve proper tooth spacing for younger children as their teeth erupt. Ask your dentist which permanent replacement is best for the health of your smile.
Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
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