Ladera Ranch, CA – In some cases, some patients may have missing or extra teeth. There are many reasons why a tooth may be missing – perhaps a child lost a permanent tooth too early due to decay or they simply just weren’t born with it. Or maybe they had some trauma in an accident. Whatever the reason for a missing tooth orthodontic treatment can still perfect your smile.
Other patients may experience a phenomenon known as hyperdontia. Hyperdontia is characterized by an excess number of teeth. If you develop more than 20 primary teeth or 32 permanent teeth, you have hyperdontia. These extra teeth are often referred to as supernumerary teeth. The supernumerary teeth often remain impacted in the gum tissues which may cause crowding and alignment issues and can even make it difficult for the adjacent teeth to erupt properly. For some patients, root resorption (when the roots get damaged and become shorter than normal) in the surrounding teeth can also occur.
For patients who are missing teeth and who may be experiencing issues that have led them to the orthodontist, the missing teeth may be the very cause of their alignment issues. This is because the remaining teeth will then drift into the location of the missing teeth, altering the alignment and resulting bite. Dr. Robert Gire always suggests that teeth like to have neighbors. If there’s a missing tooth, the teeth present will start to lean and shift to try to find a neighbor. Drs. Gire and Salmassian can get the alignment back to where things are supposed to be.
If you are missing any teeth your orthodontist will take this into account when you undergo orthodontic treatment. If you receive treatment and then plan to have your missing tooth restored later, your orthodontist will account for that during your treatment. Your orthodontist will maintain that space during your treatment so that a restoration can be completed later. The remainder of your teeth will be shifted as needed to align the bite, close any remaining gaps, and prevent the remaining teeth from drifting into the spot left by the missing tooth.
For patients with hyperdontia, orthodontic treatment often paired with extractions may be necessary. An oral surgeon can remove the extra tooth or teeth and then an orthodontist can align the bite to create a harmonious and healthy smile. Some patients may not require extraction and only need orthodontic treatment. A consultation with a board-certified orthodontist will help create a treatment plan that best meets your needs.
No matter what issue you may be facing, it is recommended that patients see an orthodontist for the first time around the age of seven. This allows for the orthodontist to see how the smile is beginning to take shape and allows for necessary treatment to begin at precisely the right time to have the most impact.
However, orthodontic treatment can be completed at any age. Whether you are 7, 17, or even 67, it is never too late to have a consultation with an orthodontist and get the smile of your dreams. At Ladera Orthodontics, you benefit from the expertise of not just one, but two board certified orthodontists who have experience treatment a host of issues in patients of all ages.
To schedule your complimentary consultation today, please call 949-272-8782.