Are Braces a Treatment Option for a Missing Tooth?
By Kellyn Hodges on May 12, 2013
Teeth that are misaligned can cause many oral health problems for patients. Typically, alignment issues can be detected and treated during a patient’s adolescence so that these problems can be avoided. However, this is not always the case. Oftentimes, adult patients require orthodontic treatment as well. When adult patients come to Philadelphia orthodontist Kellyn Hodges for braces, they often have additional oral health concerns. For some of these patients, missing teeth are a problem. In these situations, our Philadelphia patients are eager to learn if braces can work for a missing tooth. Fortunately, not only can braces be applied to patients with a missing tooth, but they can often improve the health of the teeth and gums.
For our patients in Philadelphia, braces are applied when the teeth are overcrowded or poorly spaced or when the bite is misaligned. Traditional braces are the most reliable and affordable method of correcting severe alignment issues. However, some of our orthodontic patients have experienced tooth loss. In some cases, tooth loss may even be the cause of alignment problems. When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth can cave in or shift out of place without the proper support of surrounding teeth.
So what can a patient do if they require braces and have a missing tooth? Our patients are happy to learn that, in most cases, braces can be applied even when a patient has a missing tooth. Dr. Hodges will take the missing tooth (and any plans for future treatment) into consideration before finalizing an orthodontic treatment plan. Depending on whether the space created by the missing tooth needs to be widened (to make room for a restoration) or stay the same, an open coil or closed coil may be placed before placing the braces. This way, the remaining teeth can move or shift as necessary and adequate space for a dental restoration can be created where the tooth has been lost. So, not only can braces be applied for a missing tooth, it can actually be beneficial to treat a missing tooth with braces. Applying braces when a tooth is missing can offer our Philadelphia patients the following benefits:
- Braces can properly align surrounding teeth
- Braces can close any other small gaps between teeth
- By properly aligning teeth and closing gaps, braces can open up the space left by a missing tooth to make adequate room for a crown or other dental restoration
- If there is already adequate space for a dental restoration, braces can hold the space open and prevent surrounding teeth from caving in on the space
In these ways, braces can actually make it easier for patients to replace missing teeth once orthodontic treatment has been completed.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Kellyn Hodges and her team are trained and experienced in the field of orthodontics. It is our goal to provide the highest quality care in a comfortable and friendly setting. If you are in need of orthodontic treatment, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hodges at your earliest convenience. We would like to show you what the best orthodontic care can do to improve the health and beauty of your teeth.