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Braces

Missing two lateral incisors

04/23/2009

Question:

Im a guy missing two lateral incisors and i really need help. I got braces in 7th grade janurary and its been two years and i have spaced my canines out. now i have this very unattractive gap and the only way to cover this after braces is a retainer with fake teeth or dentures. That is a hugeeee no no for me. I feel really depressed right now and my self esteem is going down. My parents just went with the D.D.S dentist and didnt even do research on implants. i did a bit of research and it does not sound good too me. i mean Real teeth are still better than fake either way. So i want to move my teeth together. I also want to go to a different dentist because i dont feel confident in mine. He does my braces too though so is this possible or should i take off the braces and get braces at a different dentist thats an ORTHODONTIST?

The things holding me back is How long will it take to move my teeth back and do all that stuff to make my smile great? Like recontouring my tooth and lasering my gums? I know it costs less than implants. Will it look better than implants? another thing holding me back is regret too i dont want to regret this decision. But im pretty sure i dont want to spend high school as a hillbilly toothed fool. Is it okay to change my treatment plan after two years of going to implants? I asked my dentist before (he doesnt really understand me... My parents are korean and therefore go to this korean dentist which i really dislike. he almost seems like a fake dentist)) and he explained that he will need to do a root canal and reshape my tooth because its bigger than a lateral incisor. When i look in the mirror it could resemble it if its shaved off and a little bit of resin or whatever they put on. HOw do i convince my parents to let me get a opininon from another dentist? Who do i go too? Can you give me a website where i can find dentists near me? What kind of dentist should i look for for this problem. How long do you think it will take to move my teeth back to original position and reshape them? will it take more than 2 years? i really want to get this done in 6 months :(( Worst part is my self esteem was so low that i chickened out to ask out this girl to the dance. (Later found out she kinda liked me)

~gapp toothed

Answer:

First of all, missing lateral incisors creates a two choice solution. If you bring the teeth together, substituting the canine for the lateral, some reshaping can be done, but that may not satisfy your esthetic desires.  Generally, men get away with this better than women. 

The other choice is to open the lateral spaces and replace the missing teeth with implants. This is a bit more costly but often ends in better esthetics. 

It sounds like you need an orthodontist (trained and limiting their practice to orthodontics alone) to help you make the decision and correctly place the existing teeth for whichever procedure you chose. Call the American Association of Orthodontists at 1-800-424-2841 for the name of a trained orthodontist in your area. 

For more information:

Go to the Braces health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University