Many people are faced with the challenge of a missing or lost tooth. Whether a tooth was lost, or was missing at birth, the net result is the same: the gap it creates needs to be filled. There are two main reasons for this. First, to re-establish proper chewing function; and second, to avoid tooth movement of adjacent and opposing teeth. When a tooth is missing, there is a tendency for surrounding teeth to move into that space. So a gap between your back teeth can gradually create tooth movement and spaces between your front teeth.
Now that we have established the need to replace the missing tooth, what are your options? Advances in general dentistry have been wonderful on this front. Dr.Per-Ingvar Brånemark of Sweden is credited with the most significant advance, which is the development of the dental implant. In brief, an implant is a metal root to replace the root of your missing tooth. A prosthetic crown is then placed on the implant and voila! You have your tooth back.
Is an implant your best option?
Sometimes it is; however, another option may be closing the space or spaces orthodontically. Implants cannot be moved. Once they are inserted, they attach to bone and can only be removed through a surgical procedure that literally cuts away surrounding bone to loosen the implant out. Not fun! So before having an implant placed, you should always consider consulting an orthodontist. The orthodontist will examine your overall bite and propose a plan which will not only take care of the missing space, but also ensure that the rest of your teeth are in the best possible alignment.
At Palermo Orthodontics, our consultations are always complimentary and no referrals are necessary. If you need a tooth replaced, it would be our pleasure to see you for an assessment and discuss all your options. Whether you decide to close the space or replace the missing tooth, it’s always best to consult with an orthodontist first as once the implant goes in, it will be tricky to make any changes to the position of your teeth.
Dr. Pourang Rahimi