When you have a tooth that has been missing since birth, it is called a congenital missing tooth. As you can probably imagine, treatment for this type of missing tooth is different than treatment for a tooth that was there at one time and was lost due to injury or some other reason.
Here is information on how you can treat a congenital missing tooth. And, while you're at it, take comfort in the thought that you are hardly alone. As many as 1 out of every 5 adults in the U.S. is missing at least one tooth congenitally. So you're in good company!
First, Get an X-Ray Done
If you think you may be missing a tooth, the very first thing you should do is have the area x-rayed. This is because an x-ray can see below the surface of your gum tissue, clearing up the issue of whether the tooth is really gone (or just buried under the gumline). In more cases than you may think, the tooth is under the gum tissue and can be freed relatively easily.
Getting a Replacement Tooth
The best way to treat a congenital missing tooth is through the use of a dental implant. A dental implant is constructed from a ceramic “tooth” that is affixed to a metal “root” which has been fused into your jawbone. A dental implant looks, feels, and operates exactly like a natural tooth. Unlike other options such as dentures, dental implants will not result in bone tissue loss. What's more, given the advanced technology used in creating and inserting them, dental implants are essentially the same as your natural teeth.
If you feel that a dental implant won't work, you do have other options. Dental bridges and partial dentures may be a better fit. Whatever you do, be sure to seek out professional help in treating your congenital missing tooth.