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Can You Have Braces with Missing Teeth?

Feb 27, 2023Braces

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Orthodontic treatment can deal with a variety of things your mouth faces, including overbite problems, jaw alignment issues, crooked or crowded teeth, and more. But when it comes to missing teeth, braces aren’t usually the go-to option (most people turn to dental implants or dentures).

But tooth loss can happen to even the best of smiles, and there are many reasons why someone might have missing teeth – tooth decay, injury, age, gum disease, and beyond.

When you need orthodontics but have a missing tooth, can you still achieve a straight smile with traditional braces or Invisalign? Will moving teeth hurt surrounding teeth if you have gaps? For these patients, we’re here to discuss whether you’re a good candidate to seek orthodontic care to achieve your greatest smile!

Can You Get Orthodontic Treatment with Missing Teeth?

Many patients with gaps from missing baby teeth or permanent teeth wonder if they can get braces.

Whether it’s one missing tooth or a few, we have great news for all of our patients: you can still get braces or another orthodontic treatment plan. Every smile is gorgeous (even when you may have upper and lower teeth on the outs), and even smiles with missing chompers can wear braces to straighten teeth and correct problems!

Treatments: Lingual Braces, Ceramic Braces, and Invisalign

Many types of orthodontia can be used to treat bite issues and misalignment, and you can use any of them with missing teeth! Your orthodontist will consider several factors during your initial consultations based on x-rays, cost, and scope of treatment.

Children with Missing Chompers – Front teeth, bottom teeth, top teeth: once kids hit a certain age, they start losing chompers left and right! But what happens when primary teeth start falling out AND they need to fix their tooth or jaw alignment?

The orthodontist or dentist might recommend braces before your kid has adult dentition. Don’t worry – getting braces during this time won’t hurt their bite and won’t impact gap-adjacent teeth. Braces on existing teeth can actually help when adult teeth start to come in!

And if your child has a loose tooth during treatment, the orthodontist will remove the bracket for an easy transition.

kid with blue braces and missing teeth

Adults with Missing Teeth – If you’ve lost upper teeth or bottom teeth as an adult, you may have a visible gap when you become an orthodontic patient. If you’re worried about this impacting your orthodontics, don’t worry.

When you have gaps, the remaining teeth begin to shift on your lower or upper jaw to fill in the space. That is why dental implants, bridges, and dentures are important for protecting your bite.

Braces do something similar. The brackets and wires actually anchor your bottom and top teeth in your jaws, stabilizing their movement. Visiting your orthodontist regularly will let them make sure that you aren’t creating more bite problems.

Dental Implant Treatment – Since implants are anchored in the gums and jaw (and can’t be moved during treatment), orthodontists usually recommend getting treatment before undergoing implant surgery.

However in rare cases, an implant can be used as an anchor. In these cases for the bottom or top row, braces can be put on after getting implants – just like wisdom teeth removal.

Braces on Just the Top Teeth or Bottom Teeth

When you only need braces on the top or bottom, this is called single arch orthodontic treatment. Single arch treatment may be the way to go if you have missing teeth on just one row, and some patients respond well to this kind of treatment plan. However, most of the time single arch treatment will leave you with an uneven bite, so it is only used in special cases.

Creating Great Smiles (Even with Missing Teeth)

Want to transform your smile? Our orthodontic treatments are always packed with great vibes and awesome results. Talk to Great Smiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in Asheville, NC, today to set up your very own smile assessment!

Positive Communication

Choose a children’s dental practice near you where you and your child feel comfortable. You want good, effective communication and education. Look for a pediatric dentist who takes the time to explain procedures in a child-friendly manner, addressing any concerns or questions your child may have. 

Children dentistry and orthodontics

Final Thoughts on Finding a Pediatric Dentist Near You

Friendly staff and dentists who are skilled in interacting with children can help alleviate anxiety and create a positive dental experience for you and your child. Have a conversation with the staff when you call or ask to have a quick conversation with one of the pediatric dentists before you make an appointment.

Or, if you go and something does not fit about the experience– the service, the location near you, the atmosphere– then switch to a different dentist for your kids.

By prioritizing your child’s comfort, communication, and comprehensive care, you can ensure that they receive the best possible dental experience and lay the foundation for a lifetime of oral health.