Witkop syndrome is a rare genetic condition that causes nail dysplasia and hypodontia, or the congenital absence of teeth. Missing teeth that were never there pose more problems that teeth lost later in life due to trauma or decay. Congenitally missing teeth can cause substantial bite issues to surrounding teeth, create weakened jawbone in the area, and can cause obvious cosmetic concerns throughout life.
What are some of the potential dental treatments available from general and cosmetic dentists? Treatment often involves finding the best dental replacement option for your needs.
A dental bridge is one of the easiest and cheapest treatments for a sole missing tooth. Your dentist will create one natural-looking artificial tooth that will be placed in the missing tooth's gap. The artificial tooth is held in place via two dental crowns, or hollowed out artificial teeth that will be bonded to the surface of the two natural teeth on either side of the gap.
Dental bridges are easy to apply in an office visit and typically don't require any followup appointments. You will need to practice diligent oral healthcare since food and bacteria can become trapped under the bridge's middle tooth, which sits on top of the gums.
The main downside of a bridge is its vulnerability to damage. The damage can occur to either supporting teeth or their crowns and compromise the entire bridge. Teeth grinders are at particular risk for this problem. A dental bridge also won't provide much help in strengthening the bone health in the area.
Dental Implant with Bone Graft
Dental implants look and feel natural while you're chewing due to the metal supporting root that is implanted into your jawbone. The problem with using an implant to treat hypodontia is that the root requires healthy jawbone to fuse around the metal to hold the root securely in place.
A pre-implant bone graft is a potential workaround for this problem. The graft procedure can use bone from elsewhere in your mouth or from a donor source to build up the bone in the missing tooth's area. You will need to wait longer while the graft heals, then wait again after the root is placed for the bone to heal around the root. But the combination of the graft and the implant root, which stimulates bone growth in the same way as a natural tooth root, are the best bets at establishing bone health in the area.
Partial Dentures with Implants and Graft
Dental implants are great for individual missing teeth but aren't economically feasible when you have several congenitally missing teeth. A partial denture installed onto implant roots can provide similar treatment as a dental implant for multiple teeth.
The dentures have a firm plate that snaps onto an implant root at each end of the treatment area. The plate has spaces opened for natural teeth to poke through to provide even more security and to better help blend together your natural teeth and the artificial teeth on the plate.
For more information, contact Louisville Family Dental or a similar location.