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Congenitally missing teeth: Are dental implants an option?


San-Marcos-dental-implants-300x165People may be born without a complete set of permanent teeth for any number of reasons, and when this occurs, it can be quite detrimental to the smile’s appearance. Although these circumstances are rare, these patients often can still sport beautiful smiles courtesy of dental implants, which can serve as a substitute for those missing teeth.

A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that acts much in the same way that a biological tooth’s root does. After an oral surgeon places a dental implant in the jaw, the bone will form a strong link with the implant’s surface, rendering the implant as a permanent fixture in the patient’s mouth. The implant is then available to support a prosthetic tooth structure, like a dental crown.

Dental implants offer a durable, lifelike solution to replace teeth that have been missing since birth or those that have been lost due to decay or injury.

For patients who have insufficient jawbone material in addition to missing teeth, bone grafting may be necessary prior to dental implant placement. With this procedure, the oral surgeon can insert donor bone material from elsewhere in the patient’s body or an external source.

In cases of congenitally missing teeth, different specialists may collaborate on the treatment plan. For example, an orthodontist may need to be involved to create space for the implant before the surgeon can place the implant.

The patient’s age also can be a consideration when dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. In young patients whose jaws are still developing, implant placement is often contraindicated because the implant may shift as jaw growth continues. The providers may prefer to preserve space for the implant and then place it after the jaw is fully developed. At that time, implant placement is likely to produce more predictable results.

If you are concerned about congenitally missing teeth, talk to one of our experts to see if dental implants may be appropriate to improve your smile.