So what can a patient do if they require braces and have a missing tooth? Our patients are happy to learn that, in most cases, braces can be applied even when a patient has a missing tooth. Dr. Maruri will take the missing tooth (and any plans for future treatment) into consideration before finalizing an orthodontic treatment plan. Depending on whether the space created by the missing tooth needs to be widened (to make room for a restoration) or stay the same, an open coil or closed coil may be placed before placing the braces. This way, the remaining teeth can move or shift as necessary and adequate space for a dental restoration can be created where the tooth has been lost. So, not only can braces be applied for a missing tooth, it can actually be beneficial to treat a missing tooth with braces. Applying braces when a tooth is missing can offer our patients the following benefits:
- Braces can properly align surrounding teeth
- Braces can close any other small gaps between teeth
- By properly aligning teeth and closing gaps, braces can open up the space left by a missing tooth to make adequate room for a crown or other dental restoration
- If there is already adequate space for a dental restoration, braces can hold the space open and prevent surrounding teeth from caving in on the space
In these ways, braces can actually make it easier for patients to replace missing teeth once orthodontic treatment has been completed.