03 Oct Congenitally Missing Teeth: Are dental implants an option?
Patients who were not born with a complete set of teeth may be confused about their treatment options to restore a complete, beautiful smile. While interventions to address tooth loss might seem straightforward, the ways to address congenitally missing teeth may be less evident to patients. Fortunately, the most advanced dental technology available can be helpful in completing these patients’ smiles.
Depending on the circumstances, patients may be able to choose dental implants to replace congenitally missing teeth. Dental implants offer a structurally complete facsimile of a biological tooth because the surrounding bone is able to form a bond with the titanium implant after the the device is placed in the jaw.
After the dental implants have osseointegrated, they can support a single prosthetic crown or a dental bridge, depending on the patient’s needs. An oral surgeon may collaborate with an orthodontist, who can reposition the teeth that are present in order to create room for the implant-supported appliance, on the treatment plan if need be.
Successful dental implant placement does require adequate bone tissue to support osseointegration, however. If the bond between the bone and the implant is not solid enough, the implant may fail prematurely. Therefore, if you are missing bone tissue in the vicinity of the missing tooth, the oral surgeon may need to perform a preliminary bone graft before placing the dental implant. This does extend the patient’s treatment timeline, but the investment of extra time is worthwhile, as it reduces the risk of premature implant failure.
Because they consist of a root-like structure and a crow, dental implants feel more like biological teeth and are more functional, as well. The physical connection between the bone and the implant facilitates better chewing function, as the implant can withstand strong forces.
If congenitally missing teeth have left you with an incomplete smile, dental implants may be an option to fill in the gaps. Call our office to schedule an evaluation with an oral surgeon and learn about whether this treatment is a good choice for you.