Dental Treatment of Congenitally Missing Teeth - Atlanta, GA

If Nature Didn’t Give You a Full Set of Teeth, Let Us!

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Understanding What Congenitally Missing Teeth Means

Many people are born with a genetic difference that prevents them from developing the usual 32 permanent teeth. While it may seem odd, congenitally missing teeth are one of the most common developmental dental conditions. As many as 50% of adults are missing at least one tooth; however, it’s most commonly a wisdom tooth or wisdom teeth, which do not appear in their smile zones. After wisdom teeth, the most commonly missing permanent teeth are second premolars (the ones between the canines and the molars) and lateral incisors (the ones on either side of your two front teeth). For some unlucky few, several teeth may not have developed normally, and in rare cases, less than six adult teeth may have developed.

What Can Cause Congenitally Missing Teeth?

Hypodontia is the condition of failing to develop the full set of adult teeth. Specifically, it refers to missing between one and six teeth, not including any missing wisdom teeth. Most of the time, it just comes down to genetics. If one of your parents was missing a tooth or two, it’s likely you may be, as well. The condition may be linked to other genetic conditions or it may occur on its own.

Oligodontia refers to the condition of missing more than six teeth (not counting wisdom teeth), and anodontia means the complete failure to develop either primary (baby) or permanent (adult) teeth. These more severe forms of congenitally missing teeth are usually linked to other issues, such as a more severe genetic anomaly that causes other health problems. For example, missing teeth can occur in relation to conditions such as Down syndrome and cleft lip/palate. Severe cases of missing teeth can also happen in patients born to older mothers, with low birth weight, as part of a multiple birth, or with early exposure to certain infections, injuries or drugs.

Can Missing Teeth Cause Other Problems?

You may be doing just fine getting by without some missing teeth, but living without a full or nearly full set of teeth can cause other dental health issues. The more chewing surfaces you lack, the more pressure you put on the other teeth. Down the road, that can lead to cracks and fractures, excess dental wear, sensitivity and jaw issues. Teeth also tend to shift. If there is a gap, the surrounding teeth are likely to tilt or shift into that space, throwing your bite off further.

Missing teeth can make it difficult to chew properly, and can make you more prone to choking. Children may develop speech problems due to missing teeth, and the spaces caused by missing teeth also leave the gums in that area susceptible to gum damage. Over time, bone structure can be lost in these areas. If you’re missing front teeth, those gaps may embarrass you and keep you from smiling fully. You might be tempted to hide your teeth when you speak or pose for pictures … but you deserve to feel proud of your smile!

What Options Do You Have to Replace Congenitally Missing Teeth?

There are plenty of great options to replace missing teeth! As prosthodontists, we are able to seamlessly incorporate several types of treatments, and our in-house dental lab is equipped to craft the highest-quality prosthetics for patients throughout Gwinnett County. You won’t need to coordinate between multiple specialists to get the high-quality treatment you deserve!

Common treatment options for congenitally missing teeth include:

1

Bridges

Using the two teeth on either side of a gap, we can attach an artificial tooth to fill the space, provide support for your bite, and prevent the other teeth from shifting. This middle tooth only replaces the chewing ability and esthetics of the upper part of the tooth, and does not have a root portion.

2

Dental Implants

Implants are the “gold standard” for replacing missing teeth. With a titanium anchor to replace the root of the tooth and a functional, beautiful porcelain crown for the top, an implant mimics the structure of your natural teeth. Implants have a very high success rate and are very predictable. We can use implants to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth in the same area. You might not even need a separate implant for each missing tooth!

3

Traditional Dentures or Implant Supported Dentures

If you are missing several teeth in one area, we can fabricate beautiful, functional prosthetics to replace them. There are many types of dentures to suit every need. Implant supported dentures offer the most stable, comfortable and functional option for replacing a full set of missing teeth.

4

Cosmetic Options

Some patients may have developed small teeth in addition to missing teeth. In this case, we have a wide variety of cosmetic options, such as crown lengthening, porcelain veneers and crowns to help improve your smile while we replace what you were missing!

calculating cost of dental implants

Concerned About Cost? We Can Help!

Congenitally missing teeth can be frustrating, especially if the rest of your teeth are healthy and perfect! To protect the teeth you do have, it is essential to create balance and a full set of functional teeth. We also want you to smile with confidence! We understand that finances are a major concern for many of our patients. We don’t want budgetary constraints to keep you from accessing the excellent treatment you deserve.

This is why we are committed to helping you maximize your dental insurance benefits wherever possible. We can work with you to create a payment plan and financing options that will suit your budget and allow you to get healthy!

Chew, speak, and smile the way you were meant to!

Call to schedule a consultation with our office today.