Are you considering undergoing orthodontic treatment but have missing teeth? Contrary to common misconceptions, missing teeth doesn’t prevent you from getting orthodontic treatment. In fact, braces can be a great option for people missing a tooth, as they can close or widen gaps to leave the perfect amount of space for a replacement tooth.
Can People Get Orthodontics with Missing Teeth?
Yes, you can get orthodontic treatment with missing teeth. When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will often drift into the empty space, which can cause malocclusion issues and other dental health problems down the road. Orthodontic treatment can help to correct and prevent these issues from happening.
At Senan Orthodontic Studios, we provide the following orthodontic treatments for people with missing teeth:
- Braces: This is the most common orthodontic treatment. Braces use brackets, bands, and wires to move your teeth by exerting constant pressure on them for extended periods of time, and the shape of your jaw gradually adapts to conform to this pressure. The brace is adjusted periodically until the desired alignment is achieved. Modern braces are less noticeable, more inconspicuous, and highly customizable, allowing you to choose different colors every time you go for an
- Clear Aligners: This alternative orthodontic treatment is virtually invisible and removable. Unlike traditional braces, which use wires and brackets, clear aligners use a series of aligner trays that are replaced every one to two weeks to move teeth into the desired position. You need to wear clear aligner trays for most of your day (20–22 hours/day) to see results, but they’re easily removed for eating, brushing, flossing, or special occasions. On average, clear aligner treatment takes approximately 12-16 months to complete. However, depending on the individual and the severity of your bite problem, treatment time can also be as short as a few months.
How Does It Work?
Braces and aligners are ideal for anyone with missing teeth, including children, teenagers, and adults. Here is how getting braces with missing teeth works:
Children with missing teeth
Children who are still losing their baby teeth but have jaw issues or misaligned teeth are still candidates for braces. Braces can align your child’s existing teeth while ensuring that there’s enough space in the mouth for the incoming teeth to erupt properly, preventing further complications and problems with malocclusion.
A space maintainer is often used to keep that area of the child’s mouth open until the permanent tooth begins to emerge naturally. It’s entirely safe for your child to lose some teeth while undergoing orthodontic treatment – Dr. Ziadeh will evaluate these baby teeth at checkup appointments, and any brackets or bands connected to baby teeth will be removed so a tooth can fall out. Once a permanent tooth comes into place, the bracket will be replaced on the new tooth.
For older children or teenagers with missing permanent teeth, braces can help close the gap, correct alignment issues, or keep the space left by a missing tooth open for restoration.
Adults with missing teeth
For adults, a missing tooth can cause the remaining teeth to shift, changing your bite, putting unnecessary strain and wear on your remaining teeth and jaw joint, and even causing bone loss. If you have existing crowding or your teeth, have already shifted to the gap left by the missing tooth, braces alone might be enough to shift the rest of your teeth into place and close the gap.
However, if your teeth have already shifted and it’s necessary to replace the missing tooth, we can use braces to create space for the replacement tooth. If there’s enough room for restoration, braces will create proper alignment while preventing your teeth from shifting into the space left by the missing tooth.
Why Do People Lose Teeth?
There are several causes of missing teeth:
- Gum disease: This is the most common cause of missing teeth. Gum disease can cause teeth and bones to decay and tissue to recede, leading to tooth loss.
- Genetics: Some people are born without certain teeth, a condition known as congenitally missing teeth. In such cases, the second molars and the lateral incisors may not appear at all.
- Injury: Sports injuries, falls, car accidents, and other kinds of trauma can cause you to lose your teeth.
Schedule Your Orthodontic Appointment Today!
If you have missing and crooked teeth getting orthodontic treatment can help you get the smile the straight, healthy smile you deserve. Braces and clear aligners from Senan Orthodontic Studios can help align your teeth, close any small gaps caused by missing teeth, prevent surrounding teeth from moving into the space left by the missing tooth, and open up space for tooth restoration. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
Dr. Senan K. Ziadeh
BDS DDS MScD DScD CAGS Ortho
Dr. Senan Ziadeh, a board-certified orthodontist, brings over two decades of experience to his practice, Senan Orthodontic Studios, in McAllen, Texas. His illustrious career spans three continents, where he acquired a vast array of post-doctoral degrees, including a Doctorate of Science in Dentistry (DScD) and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Orthodontics (CAGS), culminating in his recognition as a Diplomate by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). Alongside his professional accomplishments, Dr. Ziadeh is a dedicated family man, enjoying diverse activities from traveling to music.