Author Topic: missing teeth: options  (Read 6731 times)

scrubbyfish

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missing teeth: options
« on: August 16, 2016, 09:32:55 AM »
At 12, my kid still has perfect teeth! (No cavities, decay, etc.) However, two adult ones never developed, so we're approaching decision time. We'll do SOMETHING, so that his mouth/jaw/movement/function develops as close to healthy as possible, but which option?

Option 1: Create more space, insert artificial teeth to replace missing ones. Pros: Wider set for more correct function. Natural appearance. Cons: Inserted (more fussing about with body, which I view as always having some risk). Would require replacement a few times through life.

Option 2: Reduce space, shape canines to appear more like lateral incisors. Pros: Has only natural teeth for lifetime. No fucking about with body, ever. No maintenance/follow up required at any point. Cons: Narrower set, which I'm concerned has some impact on immediate and secondary function. Looks a tiny bit odd.

I'm leaning strongly leaning toward the second.

Anyone have experience with either option? Other paths?

Lunasol

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 09:43:01 AM »
Would it be too bad to have artificial teeth? The new ones look very real and I'm sure they last a long time. My mom has had hers for like over 30 years.

Some people need glasses, other people need artificial teeth, there will always be expenses associated with medical care.

Also, have you asked your kid what does he/she want?

KCM5

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 09:43:18 AM »
Not personal experience:

My spouse is missing one of their lateral incisors. The canine next to it just moved over taking its place. I seriously didn't notice it until my spouse pointed it out after a year or so. No issues with space or anything, but this is one missing tooth rather than two. This tooth has also not been reshaped.

If I were making this decision, I would lean towards option 2 as well, with the caveat that if my dentist thought it was a bad idea. (Get a second opinion, too, blah blah blah)

MayDay

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 09:55:29 AM »
I'd put in the fakes, but I'm a bit fussy and anal about teeth, it would bother me.

Khaetra

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 10:05:56 AM »
Reshaping teeth usually involves filing, which results in losing those teeth sooner (and there goes the fussing with the body!).  All my front ones, from canine to canine are fake and I really don't find them an issue at all.  I'd go with option one.

swick

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 10:09:56 AM »

Also, have you asked your kid what does he/she want?

I wouldn't necessarily go that route, of course it depends on the kid, I needed braces but being the astute kid that I was, I knew it would have been a super struggle for my parents to pay for.  I remember very clearly asking the dentist at 7 if this was something I "really" needed or it was just for cosmetic reasons. He said it was mainly cosmetic so I convinced my parents it wasn't necessary. Some days I regret this. I don't ever smile with my teeth showing in pictures and have always been a little bit self-conscious about it.  Most of the time I just accept that is how I am and it doesn't bother me, but it can be tough in a situation/career where you have to be "on"

Oh Scrubby, the reason they said I needed braces was because quite a few of my adult teeth never came in. I don't have any wisdom teeth, and I am still using several of my baby teeth at 30. I expect I will need to have some false teeth at some point since Baby teeth were really not designed to last your whole life.

It sounds like with LF it is a matter of cosmetic and how things look? I think it goes back to how you both are feeling, and if a decision has to be made now or he can wait till he is older and get the work done if he wants to? I know dentists like us all to have perfect teeth, but we are all different :) You just have to figure out if you/he can live with those differences. I'd definitely be getting second opinions too.

iris lily

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 10:12:53 AM »
I vote for the option of no change to natural body. How time sensitive is this decision? Itmdoes sound as though if you choose #2 , the teeth will geow into empty space and he wont be able to make a change as an adult.

I have a big space between my front teeth, it is a cosmetic problem only. My parents gave me an option, braces or no braces. Being a kid, I chose no braces.

As an adult I looked into having my teeth capped and possibly other stuff done,  but when I read up on the procedures, ewwwwww, gross!. No! Leave my body alone!

So I Dont regret that decision. Perfect teeth are not important  to me.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 11:23:18 AM by iris lily »

Lunasol

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 10:21:12 AM »

Also, have you asked your kid what does he/she want?

I wouldn't necessarily go that route, of course it depends on the kid, I needed braces but being the astute kid that I was, I knew it would have been a super struggle for my parents to pay for.  I remember very clearly asking the dentist at 7 if this was something I "really" needed or it was just for cosmetic reasons. He said it was mainly cosmetic so I convinced my parents it wasn't necessary. Some days I regret this. I don't ever smile with my teeth showing in pictures and have always been a little bit self-conscious about it.  Most of the time I just accept that is how I am and it doesn't bother me, but it can be tough in a situation/career where you have to be "on"

Oh Scrubby, the reason they said I needed braces was because quite a few of my adult teeth never came in. I don't have any wisdom teeth, and I am still using several of my baby teeth at 30. I expect I will need to have some false teeth at some point since Baby teeth were really not designed to last your whole life.

It sounds like with LF it is a matter of cosmetic and how things look? I think it goes back to how you both are feeling, and if a decision has to be made now or he can wait till he is older and get the work done if he wants to? I know dentists like us all to have perfect teeth, but we are all different :) You just have to figure out if you/he can live with those differences. I'd definitely be getting second opinions too.

It is important to some parents to take their kids opinion into account, I was suggesting this in case OP hadn't thought about it.

You can still correct your teeth if you want, and I'm suggesting because you mentioned how it bothers you sometimes.

I have acne scars and I've had several peelings/procedures done because I don't like how they look and everytime it makes me feel slightly better about my skin, so I'm all for (cosmetic) procedures that will make you feel better on the inside thus making you look better on the outside.

scrubbyfish

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2016, 10:25:58 AM »
Would it be too bad to have artificial teeth? The new ones look very real and I'm sure they last a long time.

Nothing wrong with having them, no. They look great, nothing unethical about them, I have money, etc. But the ortho did say the procedure would need to be redone several times in his life (thus I'm making a decision about KID'S future spending and procedures), and that there is "strong discomfort" at/after the procedure. Kid doesn't do great with "discomfort." And, anytime we poke the body and insert manmade objects there are some risks.

re: Effects of filing, ortho said the canines have more enamel, thus he is comfy doing more filing on those ones.

Ortho so far leans toward Option 2 (reshape vs fake), but will do a further assessment before making his final recommendation.

Yesterday kid preferred the shaping; today kid has forgotten about the screws-in-gum and likes the fake one because he'd feel "bionic or like a pirate." He LOVES any and all prostheses on anyone, has a real passion for them.

Neither LF nor I are concerned with "perfect looking." I have a fully crooked tooth bottom front and I love it wholeheartedly. I LOVE/prefer quirky teeth to perfect :)   Bet I would love yours, swick! 

My primary concern is social (he has enough going on there, with autism) and functional (there are effects of tooth number, jaw width and shape, etc). But I'm not into unnecessary bionics where it creates medical risks.

I will ponder the time matter. I really like the idea of leaving kid's options open, where doing so would not interfere with his development.

Lunasol

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2016, 10:40:21 AM »
I may be giving this word too much attention but "ortho being comfy doing more filing", is that a good reference?

Maybe you should consider a second opinion too?

scrubbyfish

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2016, 10:47:18 AM »
I may be giving this word too much attention but "ortho being comfy doing more filing", is that a good reference?

Maybe you should consider a second opinion too?

lol, that was definitely my word not his. He spoke in ortho-language about enamel, levels of per tooth type, etc, and his willingness to file was based on amount of enamel on those specific teeth such that he sees no long-term repercussions as he would expect to see if that amount of shaping was done on any other tooth.

He is the highest-rated (by consumers) ortho around, so so far I feel no need for a second opinion. He has already proved himself way more accessible, honest, and upfront than the guy we saw a few years ago.

LeRainDrop

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2016, 11:04:44 AM »
I had one impacted canine tooth.  It was stuck up in my gums sideways and would not move.  They tried different methods to guide it to come down normally, but none of that made it move.  Ultimately, they extracted the impacted tooth and put in an implant, which was then covered with a crown.  That was all through high school, so if I calculate correctly, I've had this crown -- which looks awesome and just like my natural teeth -- for around 15-17 years.  When I go to the dentist for cleaning every six months, they still say that it's in great shape, and I've had no problems with it whatsoever.  Of course, at first it felt weird to have a "fake tooth" in my mouth, but it didn't take long to feel completely normal and very close to the same as all the rest of my teeth.  All this to say, I'm an advocate of the implant/crown route.

ETA:  Yes, at the time that the surgery took place, I was hating the process and wished I didn't have to do it, but my orthodontist, my oral surgeon, and my parents did an excellent job explaining why this would be a worthwhile procedure in the long-term.  I've also always handled delayed gratification pretty well, so I was able to put up with it.  Of course it was uncomfortable to deal with surgery, needle in the arm, anesthesia, having a very sore mouth, etc., but these things passed rather quickly.  Once the crown was in place, I was more than ready for everyone to stop messing with my mouth.  But the payoff for me has been excellent, and I am so glad that I went through with this procedure.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 11:22:26 AM by LeRainDrop »

Sailor Sam

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2016, 11:13:05 AM »
I have a friend with a missing upper lateral. He wears a retainer-type thing, with a tooth attached to it. Gives a nice cosmetic appearance and keeps this tooth spacing correct, without any sort of filing or surgery. Would this be an option for LF? If yes, it could be a good time buying option, until he's old enough to make decisions about his own body.

scrubbyfish

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2016, 11:16:51 AM »
I have a friend with a missing upper lateral. He wears a retainer-type thing, with a tooth attached to it. Gives a nice cosmetic appearance and keeps this tooth spacing correct, without any sort of filing or surgery. Would this be an option for LF? If yes, it could be a good time buying option, until he's old enough to make decisions about his own body.

OH! This sounds good!

Lunasol

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2016, 11:19:12 AM »
I may be giving this word too much attention but "ortho being comfy doing more filing", is that a good reference?

Maybe you should consider a second opinion too?

lol, that was definitely my word not his. He spoke in ortho-language about enamel, levels of per tooth type, etc, and his willingness to file was based on amount of enamel on those specific teeth such that he sees no long-term repercussions as he would expect to see if that amount of shaping was done on any other tooth.

He is the highest-rated (by consumers) ortho around, so so far I feel no need for a second opinion. He has already proved himself way more accessible, honest, and upfront than the guy we saw a few years ago.

oh ok :) I thought doctor had used the word comfy himself, if you trust this doctor then that's great, I'm sure he'll do a good work whatever your family chooses to do

GuitarStv

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2016, 11:23:10 AM »
Teeth seem to be firmly rooted and immovable, but actually they float around quite a bit over the years because of the repeated high pressures that come about from chewing.  A well aligned set of teeth tend to stay more or less in the right positions, where poor alignment can lead to all sorts of problems.  It sounds like Option 1 means better alignment for the whole mouth.  What does the surgeon think will happen long term with each option?


'Only natural teeth' isn't necessarily a pro.  Naturally poor teeth are what got you stuck in this position to begin with.

LeRainDrop

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2016, 11:26:36 AM »
I have a friend with a missing upper lateral. He wears a retainer-type thing, with a tooth attached to it. Gives a nice cosmetic appearance and keeps this tooth spacing correct, without any sort of filing or surgery. Would this be an option for LF? If yes, it could be a good time buying option, until he's old enough to make decisions about his own body.

OH! This sounds good!

I also went through a period of having this while they were trying to "encourage" my impacted tooth to come down.  The retainer was fine, but there was some awkwardness about eating with it and also when you had to remove it to clean it and, god forbid, people see you without your tooth!  That said, these retainers only last like a year or so anyway, and your kid has to be really careful with handling it so that the tooth doesn't break off of it.  I don't think this measure would buy you all that much time for your kid to mature to the point where he can make his own grown-up personal financial decisions, but I suppose it is worth asking your orthodontist about it as a potential option.

scrubbyfish

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2016, 11:43:04 AM »
...poor alignment can lead to all sorts of problems.

Yes, that's my take too, and why I want to be wise in this. Teeth matter; alignment/width/shape matters (functionally).

What does the surgeon think will happen long term with each option?

In terms of further movement, etc, I'm not sure! Good question, then, for me to bring to next appt.

Naturally poor teeth are what got you stuck in this position to begin with.

Well, his natural teeth are excellent (strong, full, no decay, no cavities). Two being utterly absent (those chunks of bone just never developed) is what got us stuck in this position to begin with.

It's like a person being born with one arm vs two. The absent one isn't unhealthy; it just doesn't exist, and that's a totally different matter. (Slight tangent: It's why I am very intentional about not using 'disability' and 'illness' or 'health problem' interchangeably. Some matters happen to be both, and sometimes one leads to another, but many are one vs the other. A missing arm or tooth is not a "poor" one; it's an absent one.)

swick

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2016, 03:00:38 PM »

Also, have you asked your kid what does he/she want?

I wouldn't necessarily go that route, of course it depends on the kid, I needed braces but being the astute kid that I was, I knew it would have been a super struggle for my parents to pay for.  I remember very clearly asking the dentist at 7 if this was something I "really" needed or it was just for cosmetic reasons. He said it was mainly cosmetic so I convinced my parents it wasn't necessary. Some days I regret this. I don't ever smile with my teeth showing in pictures and have always been a little bit self-conscious about it.  Most of the time I just accept that is how I am and it doesn't bother me, but it can be tough in a situation/career where you have to be "on"

Oh Scrubby, the reason they said I needed braces was because quite a few of my adult teeth never came in. I don't have any wisdom teeth, and I am still using several of my baby teeth at 30. I expect I will need to have some false teeth at some point since Baby teeth were really not designed to last your whole life.

It sounds like with LF it is a matter of cosmetic and how things look? I think it goes back to how you both are feeling, and if a decision has to be made now or he can wait till he is older and get the work done if he wants to? I know dentists like us all to have perfect teeth, but we are all different :) You just have to figure out if you/he can live with those differences. I'd definitely be getting second opinions too.

It is important to some parents to take their kids opinion into account, I was suggesting this in case OP hadn't thought about it.

You can still correct your teeth if you want, and I'm suggesting because you mentioned how it bothers you sometimes.

I totally agree that parents should take their kids wishes into account, I was just pointing out that there are often a lot of other considerations and how child/parent might view things differently, also just having the ability to weigh the long-term implications.

Personally, if at all possible I would wait until LF is older and can make the decision for himself (now it might not be, and you have to work with the info you have)

I did look into what it would take to fix my teeth as an adult, just out of curiosity, it would take having my jaw broken and at least a 6-month wire job. I've come to accept my teeth the way they are :)

Lunasol

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2016, 03:16:34 PM »

Also, have you asked your kid what does he/she want?

I wouldn't necessarily go that route, of course it depends on the kid, I needed braces but being the astute kid that I was, I knew it would have been a super struggle for my parents to pay for.  I remember very clearly asking the dentist at 7 if this was something I "really" needed or it was just for cosmetic reasons. He said it was mainly cosmetic so I convinced my parents it wasn't necessary. Some days I regret this. I don't ever smile with my teeth showing in pictures and have always been a little bit self-conscious about it.  Most of the time I just accept that is how I am and it doesn't bother me, but it can be tough in a situation/career where you have to be "on"

Oh Scrubby, the reason they said I needed braces was because quite a few of my adult teeth never came in. I don't have any wisdom teeth, and I am still using several of my baby teeth at 30. I expect I will need to have some false teeth at some point since Baby teeth were really not designed to last your whole life.

It sounds like with LF it is a matter of cosmetic and how things look? I think it goes back to how you both are feeling, and if a decision has to be made now or he can wait till he is older and get the work done if he wants to? I know dentists like us all to have perfect teeth, but we are all different :) You just have to figure out if you/he can live with those differences. I'd definitely be getting second opinions too.

It is important to some parents to take their kids opinion into account, I was suggesting this in case OP hadn't thought about it.

You can still correct your teeth if you want, and I'm suggesting because you mentioned how it bothers you sometimes.

I totally agree that parents should take their kids wishes into account, I was just pointing out that there are often a lot of other considerations and how child/parent might view things differently, also just having the ability to weigh the long-term implications.

Personally, if at all possible I would wait until LF is older and can make the decision for himself (now it might not be, and you have to work with the info you have)

I did look into what it would take to fix my teeth as an adult, just out of curiosity, it would take having my jaw broken and at least a 6-month wire job. I've come to accept my teeth the way they are :)
I get it :) we're both just suggesting and it depends on OP if they think it's the right thing or not, I agree with you that it can be a tough decision for a kid.

Oops sounds troublesome! I'm sure you look just fine and people rarely ever notice these things. I'm sure people don't notice my scars as much as I think they do.

Miss Piggy

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2016, 03:35:58 PM »
Are his teeth otherwise straight and in the right places, or will he eventually need braces? If no braces, I'd be inclined to go with the implants because this solution is likely to eliminate the need for a retainer for the rest of his life. If the docs have to move teeth around to make things look "normal," (or if he needs braces regardless of the missing teeth problem) then I suspect your son will have to wear a retainer (possibly forever, but likely only at night) to keep those moved teeth where they're "supposed" to be. 

scrubbyfish

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2016, 04:39:40 PM »
Are his teeth otherwise straight and in the right places, or will he eventually need braces?

He'll require braces any which way we go. Because the two teeth don't exist, the others are doing a "choose your own adventure" thing. Nothing crazy, and nothing impacting way up high or anything, but with two missing, it's affecting where things are landing. His face will need help either moving things together (for shaping) or spreading things out (for implants).

His adult teeth have been extremely slow to come forward (like swick, he could end up using a lot of baby teeth his whole life at this rate; he's only lost five so far, one just last week after a hiatus of six years), so while his face looks great right now, we don't really have much info about what his teeth will do long term.

Really appreciating ALL the input, everyone! I haven't had much dental intervention (no retainer, no injuries, no braces, only one filling) so  this is all unknown to me.

KCalla

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2016, 05:22:52 PM »
It is wonderful that you are having this evaluated by a specialist (orthodontist) that you trust.

A very important sentence in one of your posts is:
"Ortho so far leans toward Option 2 (reshape vs fake), but will do a further assessment before making his final recommendation"
It sounds, to me, that this orthodontist is willing to do the valuable an analysis that is critical to honestly presenting the best option for you.

I will add this:  Do not go with a removable appliance (retainer, flipper, partial) as a long term solution for a young person as long as any other option exists.  While I would give different input for a mature adult with excellent oral hygiene and diet habits (and developed personal responsibility), a long term removable appliance for anything but appearance emergencies is a higher risk option for anyone without those personal habits.  Plaque will be retained up against the supporting teeth as will acid and/or sugar containing beverages (think soda and sports drinks).  This will markedly increase the risk of significant decay unless brushing and flossing is pristine.  Also, in terms of future psychological/social impact:  Imagine the situation after dating/marriage/etc.  These removable appliances should not be worn 24 hours a day.  Also, there is the stress of loosing or breaking the appliance or having forgotten (running late for school) to put it in (with larger spaces then visible to others).

Implants and the crowns made for them are wonderful.  For many spacing situations they are the very best option (better than bridges, for example (re: plaque, decay, needing to be redone)).  BUT, if the orthodontist determines that your child's situation is one of the rare ones in which the negatives of realigning the existing teeth are not great, that option is well worth considering.  You are wise to deeply pursue these alternatives. 
Whichever way you go, it is well worth close parental monitoring of plaque removal and patient compliance with treatment.  So very many suboptimal results come from plaque accumulation or not wearing elastics, etc.  Either treatment course is long and complex.  Kids often burn out every so often in their energy for it.  Some parents underestimate the follow through they'll have to commit to for great results.  It sounds like you are NOT one of those!  That's a great gift to your child.

the lorax

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2016, 11:51:28 PM »
If the teeth are all very healthy, why not just leave it for while? FWIW I have four baby teeth (molars) and I'm 40. They can last into 40s, 50s and beyond if they are taken care of.

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2016, 04:12:19 AM »
Does a decision have to be made now?  As has been said, tooth position in the mouth is pretty pliable even as an adult.  I would be reluctant to make decisions which affect the rest of someone's life if they can wait until the person makes those decisions themselves.

For what it's worth, my brother in his fifties still has many of his first teeth.  They were realigned as an adult, by his choice, and look pretty good.

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2016, 05:01:39 AM »
I did look into what it would take to fix my teeth as an adult, just out of curiosity, it would take having my jaw broken and at least a 6-month wire job. I've come to accept my teeth the way they are :)

If you are interested in this again, try asking what the dentist/orthodontist/surgeon could do without this level of intervention. I was told the same thing (jaw break and wire for an overbite) because the dentist assumed I wanted a perfect result. When I said is there anything that can be done that is less dramatic for an improved but not-perfect result there were a bunch of options that hadn't been mentioned because the result wouldn't have been perfect.

I still decided against it, but it made me realise that Tooth Professionals think about teeth very differently to tooth-users.

TOgirl

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2016, 06:41:52 AM »
Just wanted to chime in....

I went through having braces when I was younger, and having two bottom teeth pulled, to make room for all the adult teeth to grow in properly.

For my upper teeth, I was missing the two lateral incisors (which appears to be hereditary as my father and my daughter are both missing them as well). The orthodontist filed down my canines to look like my incisors. I've never had an issue with them at all. In fact, my new dentist couldn't tell at first inspection that they were in fact my canines. I would choose to go this route again, in a heartbeat.

Good luck with whichever option you choose!

Ceridwen

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2016, 07:03:21 AM »
Option 1.  I had slightly crooked teeth and my parents offered me braces as a pre-teen, and I accepted them.  I am so happy I did.  My teeth are *perfect* and I getting compliments on my smile is something that gave me a lot of confidence as a teen and young adult.  It may seem silly, but I honestly credit my braces as being the catalyst for the high level of self-confidence I have today (and I don't mean it in an "I'm so great and beautiful" kind of way, but rather "I don't need your shit" kind of attitude when it came to dealing with negative people and situations in my life, which is powerful for a young woman to have).  Don't underestimate the value of a good smile.  I'm not saying that people with imperfect teeth can't be confident.  I'm just saying that in my case, it really, really helped.

To this day, I thank my parents for my braces and they agree that it was some of the best money they ever spent.

I've already told DH that we're getting our kids braces if the need ever arises.  It's non-negotiable in my books.

Inaya

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2016, 07:13:46 AM »
It might be worth considering waiting until his wisdom teeth grow in (or get pulled as the case may be). I had braces in high school (and a palatal expander to widen the upper jaw, which was all sorts fun) and my teeth were perfectly straight up until my wisdom teeth grew in. They pushed my teeth around a bit. They're not super crooked by any means, but it sucks to spend that much time in braces (plus whatever my parents spent on them) only to have some portion of that work undone. Some day I want to straighten them again, but I still have wisdom teeth--they're partially impacted and may cause problems in the future, so I'm concerned if I have to have them pulled it'll, once again, undo the straightening.

Anyway, might be something to ask your orthodontist about.

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2016, 10:28:27 AM »
Just wanted to chime in....

I went through having braces when I was younger, and having two bottom teeth pulled, to make room for all the adult teeth to grow in properly.

For my upper teeth, I was missing the two lateral incisors (which appears to be hereditary as my father and my daughter are both missing them as well). The orthodontist filed down my canines to look like my incisors. I've never had an issue with them at all. In fact, my new dentist couldn't tell at first inspection that they were in fact my canines. I would choose to go this route again, in a heartbeat.

Good luck with whichever option you choose!

I have a similar story.  I was missing my two lateral incisors (apparently it's common in twins?) and everything was shifted over with my two years of braces.  My canines were filed down and have had to mention it to new a hygienist or dentist whom don't catch it straight away.  Alignment has never been an issue.  Totally a win.

neophyte

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2016, 12:30:21 PM »
I don't know how your orthodontist was planning to create more space, but I wanted to chime in with my experience.

My teeth were very, very crowded as a child and my orthodontist wanted to create more space to avoid pulling teeth.  I had a lip bumper on the bottom and a pallet expander on the top.  I had to turn the pallet expander key twice a day and every time it felt like it was jacking my skull apart (because it was) and brought tears to my eyes, but the pain went away after a few minutes and the whole ordeal was over in several weeks.  The lip bumper was a different story. I had raw, bleeding blisters along with the expected swelling and occasional low-grade infections all along the inside of my lip and cheeks for about 9 months to a year. The pain was less severe, but it was chronic.  Eating was painful, talking was painful. This was followed by about two years of braces, which were a piece of cake in comparison, and my teeth turned out looking great.  I would never do it again. If I had to make the decision today, 20 years later, I would pull those teeth in an instant and be done with it and recovered in a couple days.   
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 12:50:49 PM by neophyte »

Kwill

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2016, 01:11:05 PM »
I don't know how your orthodontist was planning to create more space, but I wanted to chime in with my experience.

My teeth were very, very crowded as a child and my orthodontist wanted to create more space to avoid pulling teeth.  I had a lip bumper on the bottom and a pallet expander on the top.  I had to turn the pallet expander key twice a day and every time it felt like it was jacking my skull apart (because it was) and brought tears to my eyes, but the pain went away after a few minutes and the whole ordeal was over in several weeks.  The lip bumper was a different story. I had raw, bleeding blisters along with the expected swelling and occasional low-grade infections all along the inside of my lip and cheeks for about 9 months to a year. The pain was less severe, but it was chronic.  Eating was painful, talking was painful. This was followed by about two years of braces, which were a piece of cake in comparison, and my teeth turned out looking great.  I would never do it again. If I had to make the decision today, 20 years later, I would pull those teeth in an instant and be done with it and recovered in a couple days.

Oh my gosh. I had really crowded teeth as a kid, and the orthodontist opted to pull the four canines out and smoosh the rest of the teeth together. Sometimes I've regretted going through that and losing the teeth, but after reading about Neophyte's experience, it seems much better. It wasn't super fun, but it wasn't terrible. I threw my retainer away in my late teens (bad choice), so now the teeth around where the canines were are spaced more widely than the others and need extra flossing, etc.

scrubbyfish

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Re: missing teeth: options
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2016, 02:18:54 PM »
All great info, folks! Much appreciated...