If you or someone you know has congenitally missing teeth – or hypodontia, as it’s also known – you should know that it’s more common than you might think. Around 8% of the population is missing at least one tooth from birth. That means in Nashua alone there could be 7,200 people with congenitally missing teeth. Keep in mind this doesn’t even include the people who are missing their wisdom teeth, just those missing premolars and incisors.
So what treatment options does someone have if the missing teeth are causing esthetic or functional issues?
- Keeping the primary teeth – Since there are no adult teeth erupting and pushing the existing baby teeth out of the way, many people with hypodontia can have their baby teeth hold the place where the adult tooth would have been. Unfortunately, this approach can sometimes lead occlusal issues (issues with how the teeth touch each other) since the baby teeth are not necessarily the right size or shape to replace adult teeth.
- Orthodontics – Often patients undergo orthodontic treatment to close the gaps left by the missing teeth. Orthodontics is also needed to open up any spaces if the patient undergoes a prosthodontic solution.
- Removable partial denture – This treatment option is great for the interim period before a patient gets their chosen final treatment. A partial denture can maintain the spaces between the teeth while also providing good esthetics.
- Dental bridges – Patients who want a more permanent solution that isn’t removable can choose to have the gap filled with a dental bridge instead of a partial denture.
- Dental implants – At a later age, when the teeth and jaw have had a chance to fully develop, patients can get dental implants to replace the missing teeth. Often the dental implants are accompanied with a grafting procedure to ensure there’s enough bone to place the implant in.
With so many treatment options available, it’s best to consult a dentist that’s part of a multi-specialty practice, like Nashua Dental Group. That way even if multiple dentists are involved in the treatment they are all working under one roof and have more streamlined collaboration to ensure patient success.