Missing teeth = teeth that are no longer existing in the patient's current dentition.
The cause for missing teeth typically are:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Injury or impact
ClearCorrect will treat cases with missing teeth on request, but you should be aware of the potential issues.
When a patient is missing teeth, it can be difficult to place aligners, and even more difficult to remove them. It's the opposite problem of short clinical crowns; instead of having nothing to grab on to, there's too much for the aligner to grab. The aligner snaps in and stays in. This can be uncomfortable and frustrating for the patient.
One missing tooth in an arch is generally not a problem. For instance, if a second molar is missing, our technicians can construct a “bridge” between the first molar and third molar. To avoid the potential super-eruption of teeth during treatment,
we’ll try to ensure that the occlusal surfaces of all teeth are covered by the aligner.
Even after a bridge is added, sometimes the aligner will still be difficult to remove.
Patients missing multiple teeth in a single arch may be difficult or impossible to treat with clear aligners
If you submit a case with missing anterior teeth, we will fill those gaps with simulated teeth on our model. This creates pontic voids in the aligner, which you can optionally fill with composite to enhance the cosmetic appearance of the teeth. (Please note that we don't create the actual pontics ourselves. We do however offer a nice pontic paint available for purchase in our online store.)
If you submit a case with missing posterior teeth, our models are built with a small bar across the gap. This bridge reinforces the aligner and keeps the gap open until the end of treatment, at which point you would typically fill the gap with a dental bridge.