The truth of the tooth is that by the time you reach your 21st birthday, you should have all 32 adult teeth in your mouth. However, not everyone has a full mouth of 32 teeth, and this condition is called hypodontia. Hypodontia is the term used when a tooth does not develop due to a congenital (before birth) condition. The treatment of hypodontia depends on which tooth or teeth are missing. For example, missing front teeth are more likely to receive dental attention than missing wisdom teeth because of their visibility. Here are three options which a dentist can use to disguise hypodontia.
When braces are placed into the mouth, it is done as a way to slowly move teeth into a new position. Braces work for hypodontia because they can move teeth which have been overcrowded due to a missing tooth. When a tooth is not where it is supposed to be, then teeth move out of position because they do not have one on each side to keep them in place. Once the teeth have been moved back into position, the space can be filled with a dental implant or another tooth-disguising device, or you can choose to leave the freshly spaced teeth as they are.
A dental implant involves a realistic-looking fake tooth being inserted into the mouth in the gap where the missing tooth should be. An artificial root, often a titanium rod, is inserted into the jawbone and then a ceramic cap is placed on top. This process takes a few months to finalise, but once in place, the tooth looks and acts just like a natural tooth. Not only does it eliminate the gap, but it also stops the teeth around it from moving out of place.
Dental veneers are a less intrusive option to help correct hypodontia, and they can often be applied in one session. Veneers are thin slices of porcelain attached to the front of your existing teeth. They can be made wider than standard teeth to reduce the gap between each tooth. While dental veneers will not completely close the gap created by a missing tooth, they will significantly reduce the appearance of the gap.
Make an appointment with your dentist to find out what your options are to best reduce the impact hypodontia has on your life. You have many options open to you, and it is now a matter of deciding which one best suits both your mouth and your budget.