Roughly 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one permanent tooth (excluding the wisdom teeth), and suffice it to say, a large portion of that number is adults. And, it’s probably a safe guess that many of them would like to have straighter teeth. Do you fall into this group? If so, orthodontics is still a viable option, and not only that, but it can provide a long list of benefits for both your appearance and health. Here are just a few ways orthodontics can help you if you’re missing a tooth.
1. Create Space for a Replacement
A tooth can be missing because of trauma, decay, or genetics, but no matter the reason, it can be replaced using a dental implant or bridge. However, for those with crooked teeth, this might not be possible at first because there simply isn’t enough room in the mouth because of crowding. Braces or Invisalign can help shift the teeth so there is adequate space for a new tooth, enabling the patient to regain their complete smile.
2. Prevent More Advanced Issues
When a tooth goes missing, the ones around it naturally start drifting toward the gap. Over time, this can cause minor crowding to become much more severe. But with orthodontics, the remaining teeth can be shifted so the tooth can be replaced, and once the restoration is there, it will actively prevent the nearby teeth from moving. This way, a patient won’t have to deal with more advanced crookedness or bite problems down the road.
3. Realign the Bite
The health of a patient’s bite is dependent on many factors, and ideally, the teeth should come together properly (as in the upper teeth sit slightly in front of the lower teeth), and this should make the lower jawbone line up with the jaw joint. A missing tooth can throw off this balance, leading to a crooked bite that puts stress on the jaw muscles. This can lead to persistent pain in the face, head, and even neck! Orthodontics can make it feasible for a patient to replace their missing tooth, allowing their orthodontist to fix their bite at the same time to stop or prevent these chronic issues.
You don’t have to skip out on orthodontics simply because you have a missing tooth. Even better, you could possibly get Invisalign depending on the severity of your case. Whatever your situation, you can start on the journey toward a straighter smile by scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist. From there, it’s just a matter of time before you enjoy a complete and healthy smile again.
About the Author
An award-winning orthodontist who has served the Columbus area for over a decade, Dr. Jeffery Shirck sees patients with missing teeth every single day, so he’s more than ready to help you achieve the smile you deserve. To learn about your orthodontic options and see whether you’ll need braces or Invisalign, click here to schedule a FREE in-person consultation at Shirck Orthodontics today.