Missing one or more permanent teeth is a very common abnormality that people have since birth. Over 20 percent of people are missing one or more wisdom teeth, and over 5 percent lack second molars or incisors. It is an inherited trait that often appears to run in families. If you are missing any of your permanent teeth, no need to panic. Your dentist will be able to help you, but in the meantime here are some facts about this condition.

Each tooth in your mouth has a certain role, so the pattern and function of the teeth are disrupted when one is missing. It is sometimes obvious just by appearance that something is out of place when there are only four teeth where there should be six, for example. Often your teeth will move on their own to close the gaps themselves, causing a flaw in the appearance as well as function. Sometimes the teeth no longer fit together properly and you’re unable to grasp or chew food correctly.

If you’re able to tell on your own that there’s a problem, or if you are diagnosed by your dentist, you will likely want to consider treatment options. It is common to move the teeth into better position using orthodontic braces, and then replace missing teeth artificially. Many times this involves natural-looking dental implants. For the best results, implants should be done after your jaw has finished growing.

The important thing is to consult your dentist about options and timing so that the most successful results may be achieved. Once treatment is complete, it is likely that you or no one else will be able to tell you were ever missing any permanent teeth.


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