3 Dental Solutions for Congenitally Missing Teeth

“Congenitally missing teeth” is medical terminology that describes the condition in which a person does not develop teeth, or is born without teeth. This can manifest as a single missing tooth or multiple teeth.

Frequently, the cause of missing teeth is unknown; however, some conditions will result in missing teeth, including viral infection or high fevers as an infant, metabolic disorders, trauma, taking medications at a young age, and genetic defects. 

For the most part, it’s rare to not develop permanent, or adult, teeth. The most common congenitally missing teeth are the adult third molars, or wisdom teeth. The second most common congenitally missing teeth are the adult mandibular (lower jaw) second premolars, and the third most common are the adult maxillary (upper jaw) lateral incisors.

Restoring Your Smile

Once a diagnosis of congenitally missing teeth has been given, you should seek treatment with properly-trained professionals like those at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry. All of our specialists have advanced training to ensure that the proper techniques and materials are used for the most effective, long-term result for your tooth replacement.

If you’re missing one or all your wisdom teeth, be grateful — you probably saved yourself a visit with an oral surgeon!  However, if you are missing back or front teeth, there are basically three treatment options available to you

1. Orthodontics

This is essentially moving the adjacent teeth into the position of the missing tooth or teeth. It is important to note that, in general, most residual baby teeth will need to be removed. Treatment options such as traditional metal braces or Invisalign clear aligners may be the right choice if the teeth shape and form are favorable, and you realize the aesthetic limitations of the process. Some of the limitations include: teeth or gums that don’t possess ideal form, probable need for more extensive orthodontic tooth movement (which may result in a longer period of time in braces and increased risk of root reabsorption), and the need to reshape or restore the missing teeth as well as the adjacent teeth.  

2. Dental Implant and Implant Crown

Dental implant therapy is the ideal treatment option in most scenarios.  In order to ensure the best possible result, it is imperative to preserve jaw bone and maintain the proper spacing. Implant treatment should not be used until you have reached the age at which your jaws are no longer growing.  Women’s jaws usually stop growing by the ages of 17 to 19; men’s, by the ages of 19 to 21.  If an implant is placed in a jaw bone while the bone is still growing, the implant location will not grow with the bone and will appear as though it is “sinking” into the jaw.  This results in an unaesthetic tooth appearance. 

3. Cantilevered Tooth or Bridge

If a dental implant is not the proper treatment option, a tooth-retained bridge may be the best choice. There are two options here:

  • Bonded Pontic:  This is the most conservative option available.  It involves preparing the tongue side of one of the adjacent teeth and cementing in a prosthetic tooth.
  • Bridge: A less conservative option, this involves preparing one of the adjacent teeth and cementing a crown with a prosthetic tooth replacement to replace the missing tooth.

Cosmetic Dentists in Suffolk County, NY

If you are seeking recommendations for restoring missing teeth, we urge you to make an appointment at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry in Suffolk County. Our Long Island cosmetic dentists are skilled in providing the best treatment options available. Call our office at 631-296-0588 or send us an email to request a consultation.

Additional Information:

  1. Dentistry IQ, “Treatment Considerations for Congenitally Missing Teeth,” http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2015/05/treatment-considerations-for-the-congenitally-missing-maxill
  2. National Foundation for Ectodermal Dyplasias, “Missing Teeth, Missing Benefits,” https://www.nfed.org/blog/missing-teeth-missing-benefits/

Author Info

Ryan Green

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