When you’re missing multiple teeth, your first thought may be to go the route of dental implants to gain back your smile. While dental implants are a quick way to replace missing teeth, they’re also a permanent solution. Meaning, once they’re in, they can’t be moved during orthodontic treatment like natural teeth.
So if you’re interested in gaining back your healthy bite and chewing strength, orthodontics can be part of your smile solution! Dr. Matsumoto is proud to provide both braces and clear aligner treatment for all ages and case complexities. Yes, even in the case of hypodontia (those born with missing teeth) and other cases of multiple missing teeth. Which means you can be a candidate for Invisalign with missing molars!
Here’s how our board-certified orthodontist and periodontist can help patients with multiple missing teeth achieve their smile goals.
Why would I need an orthodontist for missing teeth?
If you have multiple missing teeth, you may or may not need orthodontic treatment. It all depends on the positions of your teeth and the alignment of your jaw bones.
But often with cases of multiple missing teeth, the surrounding teeth will start to drift to fill the spaces. As teeth move out of healthy alignment, this can create new orthodontic problems, including crowding and malocclusions (bite misalignment).
In some cases such as missing back teeth, you can even experience the super eruption (or overeruption) of molars within a first year of tooth loss or even years later. This is where molars emerge too far from their place in the alveolar bone (the bone that holds your roots) and begin to expose the roots of the tooth. You may see this phenomenon when a tooth looks longer than the rest. With full orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist can intrude or move overerupted teeth back into your jawbone.
So you see missing teeth can create orthodontic problems at any stage of life. Studies by the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics show that “craniofacial growth does not stop in young adulthood but is a continuous process even into later ages.”
Orthodontic problems can affect your quality of life, including your confidence, self-esteem, chewing, and bite functionality.
Can braces fix hypodontia?
Whether you’ve lost multiple teeth to tooth decay, periodontal disease, or an accident; as long as you’re committed to caring for your dental health, Dr. Matsumoto is happy to be part of your smile restoration journey.
You mentioned hypodontia? What is that? Hypodontia is a rare congenital disorder where your 1 to 6 teeth never develop. Up to 8% of the population is born with this condition and it often requires a team of healthcare professionals to treat – an orthodontist included!
A few of the options available to patients with multiple missing teeth are braces or Brius®. We offer advanced self-ligating braces with options of choosing metal or ceramic brackets. So you can rock a sleek metallic treatment or go discreet with a tooth-colored bracket. For invisible braces options, we offer Brius, a behind-the-teeth bracket system that’s undetectable and comfortable.
But can you use aligners with missing teeth?
No matter the cause of your missing teeth, our orthodontists’ level of skill and experience enables us to treat you with your preferred treatment option. If you have multiple missing teeth and need orthodontics, we can develop a plan to help you achieve your goals. So yes, that means even Invisalign® can be used to treat bite issues caused by missing front or back teeth.
In some cases, you may require a space maintainer to preserve the space created by a missing tooth or teeth. Space maintainers prevent teeth from drifting over and creating a more severe misalignment. This is true for if the missing tooth needs to be replaced too, we can hold space for the restoration as well.
At your first visit, our team will explain the purpose of any orthodontic appliance used in conjunction with your braces, Brius, or clear aligners.
It’s time to reveal your dream smile!
The best way to determine whether you’re a good candidate for orthodontic treatment is by visiting us for a complimentary consultation. Dr. Matsumoto will perform a full examination of your smile and present your treatment options to help you make the best decision for your smile.