Doctor's Answers (1)
Losing a baby tooth later in life always presents as a dilemma for patients. Certainly a missing front tooth affects our confidence as it is in a visible region. This is often a multidisciplinary problem and best assessed by an orthodontist who work closely with a restorative dentist.
- If you have any esthetic concerns regarding your teeth position such as crowding, overbite or protruding lips, it is best to consult with an orthodontist first to determine whether you will require any extractions should you decide to have your teeth aligned through braces or Invisalign to improve your dental and facial aesthetics.
- However do note that even if you may want to consider braces/ Invisalign treatment, not all patient will require extraction for dental/ facial improvement. In such cases, patient will still require an implant replacement after completion of Orthodontic treatment. By doing Orthodontic treatment, it also allow the adjacent teeth to be positioned in the ideal position to allow for sufficient space and bone in the area for implant placement to improve the success rate of the implant
- Should you be considering Orthodontic treatment in future but would also like to have teeth replacement now, this is also best discussed with your orthodontist/restorative dentist as a successful implant fuses with the bone and hence will not be movable by Orthodontic treatment, therefore if the tooth is not in the desired position (e.g you would like to bring your front teeth back as you think that your teeth is sticking out), this cannot be done or will require more complex surgical removal of the implant, which will also lead to more bone destruction which can again compromise Orthodontic movement. In these scenario, the restorative dentist can place in a temporary bridge on your lower front teeth instead to close the gap which can be easily removed in future.
I strongly advice you to consult an orthodontist that work closely with a restorative dentist so that you understand your problem and know your treatment options.
Dr Enrica Sham