Having missing teeth can make you feel extremely self-conscious about your smile. You may find that you keep your mouth closed in pictures or try to position yourself so others can’t see the gap when you’re talking to them. Aside from impacting your confidence, missing permanent teeth also affect the health of your gums, remaining teeth and jawbone.
Whether you lost a tooth (or teeth) due to injury, decay or gum disease, you might be wondering about the best way to restore your smile. Can you get braces with missing teeth? What about Invisalign? Our Bellaire and Houston orthodontists have the answers!
Why Fixing Missing Teeth is Essential for Oral Health
Before we talk about getting Invisalign or braces with missing teeth, let’s go over why treating missing teeth is so important:
- When a teenager or adult loses a permanent tooth, the teeth surrounding the gap have a tendency to shift to fill in the space. This can lead to crowding and misalignment. Since misaligned teeth are harder to brush and floss, it increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- When you chew, you stimulate the jawbone that supports the teeth, helping it to maintain the necessary density. When a tooth is no longer there, the bone isn’t stimulated and the body reabsorbs it. This bone loss compromises your oral health and changes your facial structure, causing the face to sink in or collapse, which makes you look older.
- Missing teeth also cause difficulty chewing, which impacts your nutrition and, ultimately, your overall health. The remaining teeth bear more of the brunt from biting and chewing, which results in excessive, uneven wear of the enamel. The imbalance puts undue pressure on the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), leading to jaw pain and TMJ dysfunction too.
Can I Get Braces With Missing Teeth?
Thankfully, yes, you can get braces with missing teeth. Whether you’re interested in braces with a missing front tooth, back tooth or even multiple teeth, the first step is visiting an experienced orthodontist like the doctors at Houston Orthodontic Specialists. They have the expertise to evaluate your teeth, gums and bite and determine the best course of action.
If you have existing crowding and your overall oral health is good, braces alone might be enough to fix a missing tooth. Braces will shift the rest of your teeth into place and close the gap.
If you have several missing teeth, orthodontic treatment could help close some of the spaces. This can potentially reduce the number of dental implants or bridges you need, helping you save on your tooth replacement costs.
In other cases, however, your orthodontist may recommend that the missing tooth be replaced. If you need a dental implant or bridge, you can still get braces. The braces will create proper alignment and prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting into the space left by the missing tooth. When you do decide to replace the tooth, your dentist will then have enough room for a restoration.
If you lost teeth and waited on getting treatment, then the surrounding teeth might have already shifted, creating misalignment. This can mean there isn’t enough room for your oral surgeon or dentist to place a dental implant. This is actually a common reason why oral surgeons and prosthodontists recommend braces for adults with missing teeth.
In this scenario, your Houston or Bellaire orthodontist will use braces to widen the space to make room for the implant. When you finish your braces treatment, you’ll then see your oral surgeon for the dental implant procedure. When the permanent crown is placed on the implant, it will look lifelike and natural and fit right in with your newly aligned bite.
Can I Get Invisalign With Missing Teeth?
Not into the idea of braces? Are you wondering if you can get Invisalign with missing teeth? Yes, you can get Invisalign with missing teeth too. In fact, if something like chronic gum disease or tooth decay led to your tooth loss, Invisalign might be the better treatment option. Since the aligners are removable, you’ll be able to brush and floss as you normally would, allowing you to maintain excellent oral health throughout your smile journey.
Getting Invisalign with missing teeth will involve the same considerations as getting braces. If you have moderate to severe crowding, our Bellaire and Houston Invisalign providers might be able to close the gap with clear aligners alone. This will make it appear as if you never had a missing tooth. Or, Invisalign could be used as a way to maintain or make space where the tooth is missing so that it can be replaced in the future.
Can You Get Invisalign or Braces With a Dental Implant or Bridge?
If you already replaced your missing teeth with a dental bridge or implants, but still suffer from misalignment, is it too late for orthodontic treatment? No. While many times, getting braces or Invisalign before getting a dental implant or bridge is preferable since the implants themselves won’t move, we can still achieve excellent results after the fact.
Our doctors are experts in the biomechanics of tooth movement and are experienced in adult orthodontics (about half of our patients are adults!). They can create a braces or Invisalign treatment plan that accounts for your bridge or dental implant, ensuring your bite will be stable and your smile will look stunning.
Learn More About Getting Braces With Missing Teeth in Houston or Bellaire, TX
Experience is key when it comes to getting Invisalign or braces with missing teeth, dental implants or a bridge. As a leading Houston orthodontic practice, our doctors have the knowledge and skill necessary to ensure orthodontic treatment will be safe and effective. They’ll take a number of factors into account, such as your overall oral health, your bone density and the alignment of your remaining teeth, in order to create a personalized treatment plan that will restore your smile.
To get started, schedule a complimentary consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today!