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A Smile With Birth-Related Missing Teeth Can Be Restored

ASmileWithBirth-RelatedMissingTeethCanBeRestored

Like clockwork, a child's primary teeth fall out and their new permanent teeth soon erupt. Except when they don't: up to one in four people are missing teeth that never developed.

Congenitally missing teeth is a common birth malformation among people. Usually the teeth missing are the third molars (wisdom teeth), which may not have that great an effect on appearance or function. But about 5% of the population are missing one or more second premolars (closer to the front of the face) or the upper lateral incisors, just to the outside of the central incisors front and center in the “smile zone.”

The latter circumstance can definitely affect a person's appearance. The missing lateral incisors can make the sharp-tipped canines (eye teeth) normally to the outside more prominent. The canines may also drift into the open space toward the central incisors, rounding out what can be a rather odd-looking smile.

This is a situation that should and can be corrected, for the sake of both the smile appearance and healthy dental function. The most common treatment is to orthodontically move any misaligned teeth (like the aforementioned canines) into their proper positions and replace the missing teeth with some form of restoration like dental implants.

The real issue is the timing of these treatments, especially for younger patients who are still in the midst of jaw development. Orthodontics can be undertaken at an early age, with the bite correction maintained through retainers or other appliances. But replacing missing teeth with dental implants should wait until jaw development has fully completed around early adulthood.

If we place an implant before this, there is a moderate to high probability the jaw line will “outgrow” the implants and cause them to look out of place with the rest of the teeth. In the meantime, we can provide temporary restorations for the missing teeth such as attaching an artificial tooth to the retainer appliance to fill in the tooth gap.

A patient who is missing teeth that never were can have them replaced and their bite corrected. With a little time and patience, we can transform this kind of “toothless” smile.

If you would like more information on using orthodontics to enhance a smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Permanent Teeth Don't Grow.”

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  • "Hands down the best dentist I’ve ever been to. Dr Damelio is a master of his trade and the dental hygienists were the nicest and most professional I’ve ever dealt with. I would recommend this place to anyone!"
    Alex O.
  • "I had a great experience at my first appointment with Dr. Damelio and my hygienist Cally. The office is clean, staff is friendly and you can tell they really care about their patients!"
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  • "My children and I are always treated very well at Dr. Damelio's. The care is excellent. The staff is the best. We all enjoy going there very much."
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  • "Dr Damelio is competent, courteous, friendly and he has trained his staff in that mode. Everybody know your name and greets you upon coming. They out of their way to schedule to meet your convenience. Everyone knows their role and they do it well. It is a pleasure, an an honor, to have Dr. Damelio as my dentist."
    Jerry M.
  • "I have always had a tremendous phobia of the dentist growing up but things changed after I went to Dr. Steve. I had a few bad experiences in the past but after going to Dr. Steven Damelio they have completely gone away. I have never had a minute of pain and the staff are really great they are the best."
    Jim S.
  • "I love the friendly staff at Steven G. Damelio, DMD. I always leave this dentist office with my teeth looking great."
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  • "I always have an excellent experience at Dr. Damelio's office. Everyone is so nice and they have a great staff, keep up the good work."
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  • "I recently had a dental issue that needed quick attention. Dr. Damelio's staff was excellent. They worked with me and got me right in to the office for an appointment. Dr. Damelio gave me his full time and attention and was able to take care of the problem quickly and painlessly. I think this is a great dental practice and recommend Dr. Damelio to all of my friends."
    Megan M.
  • "Everyone at Dr. Damelio's office always so professional and friendly. Dr. Damelio always takes the time to explain everything and puts me at ease. I know I'm receiving the best care at each of my visits."
    Bonnie T.
  • "My family has been patients of Steven Damelio for a few years. My children and I are always treated very well. The care is excellent and the staff is top-notch. We all enjoy going to see Dr. Damelio."
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  • "I love coming to see Dr. Damelio. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, it totally eliminates the fear of of being at teh dentist. Dr Damelio also performs his work so well that I never feel pain and I am rarely in any discomfort. I highly recommend them for sure."
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