Dental Tips Blog

Jun
4

Retained Baby Teeth (When An Adult Tooth Is Missing)

Posted in Dental Implants

From time to time, some growing children will experience the lack of permanent tooth development in one of their teeth. Typically, the missing adult tooth is one of the premolars (bicuspids) that would have replaced a primary (baby) molar. As a result, the primary molar never falls out with the rest of their baby teeth, and stays in place for several more years.

Unfortunately, baby teeth are not designed to withstand a lifetime of use. In the most positive outcomes, retained primary molars may last until the person is around 30 years of age. At this point it typically no longer has healthy root support and becomes mobile and falls out. Dedicated oral hygiene, including daily flossing, is necessary to extend the life of these teeth to this point.

Eventually, these teeth are lost and will need to be replaced. An open space between healthy teeth can cause drifting of teeth throughout the mouth, including the opposite arch. Having a game plan in advance can prepare patients for their tooth replacement option before the day arrives. Options for tooth replacement and space maintenance typically include dental implants or a fixed bridge. If the tooth is lost very early in a person’s life, a removable flipper or partial can be worn until the rest of the mouth is fully developed.

Adults that have missing teeth may pass the condition on to their children. Seeing the dentist regularly is important. Monitoring the eruption patterns of the teeth can easily be done through routine radiographs like panoramic films or bitewing x-rays. Children, just like adults, should see their dentist twice a year to monitor oral health conditions that relate to decay and the development of their permanent teeth.

Posted of the behalf of Justin Scott

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