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Dental and Oral Health Center

Primary teeth in adults

04/03/2007

Question:

I am a 21-year-old female and I still have 5 milk teeth that have never fallen out (all four canines and one molar). An X-ray has shown that I do have adult teeth waiting to come down. Indeed, last summer when I was 20, I lost one molar and the adult one came down (although it took about 10 months). I am concerned about the fact that when these remaining primary teeth fall, I will have to walk around with 5 missing teeth for at least ten months! Is there anything I can do get those adult teeth pulled down faster?

Answer:

This is a job for an orthodontist. The teeth may not come in at all if they are in they have the wrong angle. The good news is that your permanent tooth did erupt so the eruption force is not entirely over. However, I would not delay in getting to an orthodontist. Often these teeth need to be uncovered because they won't break the tissue.

Be patient about the spaces because if you place a false tooth over the eruption area, it would itself be a deterrent to eruption.

I repeat - run, do not walk, to the trained orthodontist before the eruptive forces are lost.

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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