As a parent, one of the greatest joys is seeing your child go from that beautiful baby with a gummy smile to a sweet (or stubborn) young child with a mouth full of teeth they never stop showing. While most children become toothless as a result of their primary teeth falling out, others never have a full mouth of baby teeth. As your child gets older, you might be wondering why these particular teeth never came in, but did you know it could be a family trait or separate genetic condition? Read on to learn more about why this happens and what your dentist can do to replace a missing permanent tooth.
Why Do Some People Not Have Permanent Teeth?
If you are one of the nearly 20% of adults who are missing a permanent tooth, you may wonder how it can affect your overall oral health. Known as congenitally missing teeth, these are usually the lateral incisors or second premolars. Your incisors live on either side of your two front teeth, and your second premolars exist between the first premolars and those that live at the back of your mouth.
In most cases, congenitally missing teeth occur because of a family trait. However, if a genetic condition causes you to have missing teeth, it’s likely you’ll have more than one absent from your smile, and your other natural teeth might be affected. Dentists may diagnose the problem as ectodermal dysplasia. Other genetic disorders that can cause missing teeth include:
- Down Syndrome
- Oral Cleft Lip and Palate
How Can You Replace a Missing Tooth?
When missing teeth are part of your normal smile, they will begin to negatively impact your oral health. Apart from shifting teeth and facial changes, you might also experience bone and additional tooth loss over time. You are also more susceptible to developing gum disease as a result.
In order to combat these issues, your dentist can replace your missing teeth with various methods of treatment, including:
- Dentures (full or partial)
- Dental implants
While bridges and dentures are reliable, restorative solutions, they only replicate the look of your smile. With dental implants, your entire tooth structure can be replaced, keeping the bone stimulated and strong. Made of titanium, these small implant posts are surgically placed into the jawbone and topped with a custom-made restoration (i.e. dental crown, implant bridge, or implant-retained denture). Not only do they match the rest of your smile in color, size, and shape, but they are permanent and offer greater stability and functionality. Plus, they can last a lifetime!
As the superior choice for tooth replacement, dental implants can give you a smile that will last longer than any other available option. If you’re considering ways to replace your missing teeth, take the time to do your research and talk to your dentist about which restorative treatment is right for you.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Florida. From there, he went on to attend the University of Florida College of Dentistry, earning a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. As a dental professional with Jacksonville Dental Specialists, Dr. Nawrocki knows how important a full, complete smile can be to a patient, which is why he and his team offer dental implants as a reliable and effective method for tooth replacement. Whether you’ve lost a tooth to poor oral hygiene, injury, or gum disease, he can give you back your confidence and aesthetically pleasing smile with this innovative solution. To learn more, contact us at (904) 683-4781.