Missing Teeth

Did you know that about 1 in every 20 people have permanent teeth that never develop – they’re missing!

The most commonly missing tooth is the “Wisdom teeth” or third molars. The next most common one is the “lateral incisor” which are the teeth right next to the front two. Its my job as an Orthodontist to put together a 28 piece puzzle, and as you can guess, putting together a puzzle with 2 missing pieces can be quite difficult. The basic options are to open space for replacement teeth (bridges or dental implants) or to close the space. The pictures here show a patient who is missing both her left and right lateral incisor. We used braces to open the spaces for replacement teeth. We have more work to do with aligning the teeth, their roots, and the bite – which means the patient will be in braces for another year. In the second photo you can see that we put braces on two plastic teeth, or “pontics”, and connected them to the rest of the braces. This gives her the opportunity to smile without having large gaps where the missing teeth are. When we are done with braces we will work closely with her dentist to choose a long term solution for replacing those missing teeth, but in the meantime she can SMILE MORE!