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Thursday, November 26, 2015
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids
Lost baby tooth early
My grandson who is 9 months old fell and hit his mouth and he has lost one of his front teeth. What happens now? What should his mom do? She looked for the tooth but couldn`t find it. What is the next step? Will he be without a tooth until his permanent one comes in?
Thanks for the great question.
First off, your grandson should be evaluated by a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. I would also recommend evaluation by a pediatrician for closed head trauma. In some cases, even when the tooth appears to "be gone" it is actually pushed up into the gums (intruded) and a pediatric dentist would be able to ascertain that. If that is the case, the dentist may follow up and allow the tooth to re-erupt, which it might do. That is really the first and most critical step.
If the tooth is indeed gone, then sometimes an appliance can be made to replace the tooth. However, this is a long and difficult process -and an alternative is to leave the space alone. Typically space maintenance is not an issue in the anterior region. Also, be prepared that the grown up tooth may come in later than normal - and may have been affected by the trauma. We have no real way of knowing the full effects until the grown up tooth erupts.
Hope this helps!
Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Director, Residency Program, Division of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati