A lot of people are congenitally missing at least one tooth, and this condition is often treated with the use of dental implants. When a tooth is considered congenitally missing, it means there is no permanent tooth that will grow in place. While this is a common condition, it can create problems in a person's mouth. Dental implants can be used to correct the problems in some cases, but there are several things you should know.
It Depends On Which Tooth Is Missing
If you were born congenitally missing your wisdom teeth, your dentist will probably say you are lucky. People do not need wisdom teeth, and many individuals end up having all four of these teeth extracted. Wisdom teeth are located really far in the back of your mouth, and they can end up causing major problems. If you were born without them, consider yourself lucky.
If the teeth that are missing are your front teeth or any of your molars, you may end up with issues. These issues might not develop until you are in your 30s or older, or they might develop sooner than that.
When a permanent tooth is not there, the baby tooth that is there will often stay in place longer than it should. Baby teeth tend to fall out as permanent teeth begin erupting. If a permanent tooth does not erupt, that baby tooth might stay in place. Because of this, you might end up keeping your baby tooth until you are in your 20s, 30s, or older. When it eventually falls out, you could consider getting a dental implant to replace it.
Dental Implants Are Helpful For Adults
If a person loses his or her baby teeth at a young age and has congenitally missing teeth, dental implants might not be the right solution at this time. Girls are usually ready to get dental implants by the age of 14 or 15, while boys are not typically ready until they are 17 years old. A person's mouth must be fully developed before an implant will be successful.
For kids younger than this, a dentist may recommend using either a bridge or removable partial dentures. With these options, a child will be able to have the missing tooth replaced, which will be helpful in several ways:
- Replacing the tooth will make it easier for the child to talk and eat.
- A tooth replacement will keep the other teeth from shifting.
- The child may feel more confident having the tooth replaced.
If a child does use these options for replacing the tooth, the dental product will not last forever. A dental bridge, for example, will last for 5 to 15 years in most cases. When the bridge wears out, the dentist might then suggest replacing it with a dental implant. Dental implants are considered permanent treatment options, and they often last a lifetime if they are cared for properly.
Dental Implants Cannot Be Used In Some Cases
Dental implants are usually the best way for adults to replace teeth they are missing, but there are times when they cannot be used. Dentists that install implants typically require patients to be healthy before the implants are installed. This is why a dentist will ask you a lot of questions about your health before you can get an implant. If you smoke, for example, you might have a higher risk of dental implant failure. There are other health issues that can also put you in a high-risk category of dental implant failure.
Dental implants are a great solution for missing teeth, but you will need to talk to a dentist to find out if you are a good candidate for this. To learn more, contact a dentist that offers dental implants today.