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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Decayed teeth

11/06/2008

Question:

My daughter is 6 and recently went to the dentist. She has a left and right (same tooth on both sides) bottom back, well sorta the middle that were decayed. When they took an xray that stated that both teeth needed to be pulled but there were no adult teeth under them. They stated they can hold the spaces open or let the other adult teeth when grownin in shift into its spots or implants. What is your opinion. Would the teeth shifting be satisfactory. Also, it wasn`t explained to me if she would need braces for this. Its funny, she was born with a tooth and never thought later she would be missing two.

Answer:

Gernerally speaking, it's better to close spaces than to hold them open for an implant later. Letting the spaces close naturally will rarely solve the problem completely and orthodontics (braces) will be necessary to align the teeth correctly. You should get an opinion from an orthodontist on the timing of the braces and the cost of treatment before the baby teeth are extracted.

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Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University