Orthodontic treatment can address a variety of issues, many of which can be fixed through the use of braces. A question the staff at Smith Orthodontics often gets is, “Are braces right for me?” And in most situations, the answer is yes. But what if you are missing teeth due to age, genetics, an injury, or poor dental care? Keep reading to learn if you can get braces with missing teeth.
Missing teeth: A dental health problem
For kids, having missing teeth is a part of growing up—as their baby teeth fall out, new adult teeth grow in. This is a routine part of life and is not a cause for concern. But for teens and adults with missing teeth, these gaps most likely came about due to an injury or poor dental hygiene. This can make your remaining teeth become crooked and unevenly spaced as they move to fill in the gap left by the missing tooth. When teeth are misaligned or misspaced, brushing and flossing adequately becomes harder, leading to a higher likelihood of cavities, decay, and gum disease.
Missing teeth can also lead to TMD, as the remaining teeth work harder to chew and stimulate the jawbone. This puts undue stress on the joints in your jaw, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, missing teeth can also lead to your cheeks “collapsing,” as the gaps widen and you lose bone growth. This can then turn into a bigger cosmetic and confidence problem.
Can I get braces with missing teeth?
The good news is, YES! In most cases, children and adults can get braces put on despite missing teeth, whether the gap is in the front or back or on the side. Depending on the crowding of your other teeth and your overall oral health, braces might be all you need to fix the gap left by the missing tooth.
If more dental work is needed, braces can often pave the way for a replacement tooth by aligning the other teeth correctly and making the appropriate space for your new tooth. Sometimes an oral surgeon will even recommend braces prior to fixing a missing tooth, since your remaining teeth might have closed the gap too much. This leaves no room for a dental implant, a problem that braces can fix.
The same method is used for children with missing baby teeth—instead of waiting until all their adult teeth are in, putting braces on early can get all the teeth in the right position so the adult teeth will come in aligned correctly.
What if I already have a bridge or a dental implant—can I still get braces?
Again, the answer is yes! Although we recommend having orthodontic treatment before getting a bridge or a dental implant, we can still realign your natural teeth with braces after these are installed.
Don’t let the fear of getting braces with missing teeth stop you from achieving your healthiest smile. Contact Smith Orthodontics today for a free consultation, so we can start you on your journey to your new smile.