Hand placing the last piece of jigsaw puzzle

Sometimes teeth are missing from your smile. They didn’t get knocked out & they certainly never ran away, so where are they? It may be worth a look up your family tree.

If a few of your adult teeth never came in, there is a good chance the issue is genetic. Hypodontia, or missing one to five teeth, is caused primarily by your genes.

X marks the spot

If one or more of your adult teeth are missing, your dentist can likely catch it years in advance while your primary teeth are still in place using an x-ray. As your adult teeth grow & get ready to replace the original set, there simply won’t be a tooth under the corresponding primary tooth. Finding these early gives you plenty of time to develop the best response with your dentist.

Planning for the future

Missing teeth can impact you in a multitude of ways over the course of your life. It’s important to not only know how many teeth are missing, but which teeth. The location of the missing teeth will change how your smile develops at different rates, & can keep you from having a straight, healthy smile.

At first, it may be wise to proceed with temporary measures. Your dentist can discuss which option is best for you. This is especially true for young people playing contact sports or other activities that could result in dental injury. Don’t worry if you or your children need other procedures. Braces, for instance, can compensate for these gaps by putting in bridges to keep the space while tightening & straightening the rest of your smile to its correct position.

Once your jaw has matured, implants are a great way to remedy this void &  keep your existing teeth from drifting. But be sure to address the gap as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more your teeth will move due to the excess space, which can lead to poor biting ability & chipped teeth.

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