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Missing Teeth Replacement Options

Diagnosis - Treatment Relationship

The process of determining the best or most sensible treatment for replacing one or more teeth either on a singular basis (one at a time) or as a group of adjacent teeth can be different from patient to patient.

Birth Defect 12 Missing Teeth
Birth Defect - 12 Missing Teeth
The primary reason or cause of the missing structure influences the range of choices for replacement which can involve the use of many basic treatments and even the use of today's more advanced technologies that can match what Mother Nature provides.

Diagnostic Basics

Missing tooth structures (or appearance of absent teeth) can be caused by:
  • Genetic Birth Defects (Hypodontia - e.g, missing incisors ~ bicuspid)
  • Developmental Abnormalities - Growth Factors (e.g., Amelogenesis Imperfecta, Biliary Atresia)
  • Missing Adult Tooth Buds (primary teeth not being replaced)
  • Congenital Missing Laterals
    Missing Laterals (Common)
  • Gum Disease - Periodontitis
  • Non Recommended Extractions
  • Severe Tooth Decay - impending removal
  • Occlusal Breakage
  • Physical Trauma (car accidents, sports injuries, etc.)
  • Edentulous Jaw (perio disease treatment outcome, existing prep for dentures)
The outline above reflects many of the different causes for having a missing tooth structure. Age is the first major factor that can limit the availability of different treatments.

As a general rule, infants, toddlers, elementary age and early teen aged children are rarely recommended for any surgery or prosthodontic treatments due to on going growth factors.

Missing bone loss teeth disease
Bone - Tooth Loss
Prosthodontic Specialists, as part of an Oral Surgery team may develop custom prosthetics to treat certain genetic deformities (e.g., cleft palate). Oral Surgeons may perform specialized surgeries to correct jaw bone abnormalities in infants or toddlers, as a developmental intervention.

Dental implants and general prosthetics are routinely available to patients who have completed developmental growth cycles (spurts), which can occur somewhere between 17 to 22 years of age.

Causes and Treatments

lower jaw disease extractions
Severe Decay - Excessive Extractions
The range and choice of treatment possibilites for the tooth loss causes outlined above are listed below. To promote understanding of replacement choices for any given condition, the same outline format is provided.
  • Genetic Birth Defects: Conventional bridges, maryland bridge, dental implants
  • Developmental Abnormality: Custom prosthodontics, denture prosthetics, partials, implants, bridgework
  • Missing Adult Tooth Buds: Implants, bridge work, orthodontics (to close spacing)
  • Gum Disease - Periodontitis: Possible bone grafts, Implants, All On 4, fixed bridges, denture
  • Periodontitis Tooth Loss Bone Resorption
    Severe Gum Disease - Resorbing Bone
  • Untreated Extractions: Bone grafting (as needed), Dental Implants, partials, dentures, fixed bridge
  • Severe Tooth Decay - impending removal: Implant, dentures, bridge
  • Occlusal Breakage: Single or multiple implant, short bridge, partial
  • Physical Trauma: (same as occlusal)
  • Edentulous Jaw: Implant retained - anchored - supported denture, All On Four, Teeth In An Hour, fixed bridge

Replacement Basics

Patients considering tooth replacement options can learn more about what products and services provide the widest range of cosmetic and functional change desired. Find a dentist who has the greatest access to technologies and products that can increase treatment options.

Editorial Staff


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