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Born with missing teeth?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Millions of Americans have congenitally missing teeth, a condition almost always linked to genetics, which prevents one or more of their permanent teeth from ever forming.

When a few teeth (not including wisdom teeth) are missing, the condition is called hypodontia, the congenital lack of six or more teeth (other than wisdom teeth) is known as oligodontia.

Studies indicate that as many as six percent of the U.S. population (slightly more females than males) have some degree of hypodontia.

Missing permanent or adult teeth, especially front teeth, can have a profound effect on the self-esteem, confidence and social interaction of children and adolescents, as well adults. Once the condition is even suspected, the patient should be diagnosed and treated by a team of NJ top dentists, including an orthodontist and prosthodontist.

Congenitally missing teeth in adults are a cosmetic dentistry challenge best met with dental implants and restorations generally when the individuals are in the 18 to 21 year-old age range and their jaws have stopped growing.

Implants replace the missing teeth, while eliminating the need for bridges, which require drilling down otherwise healthy teeth to support the bridges. Bridges can be uncomfortable and difficult to maintain and will, at some point, need to be replaced and updated. A removable partial denture, or "flipper," can be used to replace congenitally missing teeth. Made of metal and acrylic, this appliance does not offer a precise and confident fit. They often press on the gums, they can break easily, they lack stability and can even cause more bone loss around the area of the missing tooth. In some cases, these partial dentures have to be removed when eating.

Implants are placed into and fuse with your jawbone, assuring stability and preventing the bone loss and atrophy that can easily result from missing teeth.

Implants are the most aesthetically pleasing and longest lasting tooth replacement option. They look and function just like natural teeth. They improve comfort and speech, as well as appearance.

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