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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Permanent tooth not erupting

07/07/2009

Question:

My son is 11 years old and I was concerned a few months ago when one of his teeth weren`t coming out( the one next to the two front ones). We did x-rays and it turned out that the permanent tooth, still up in the gums had "curly" roots. The dentist said they weren`t strong enough to push the baby tooth out, so he pulled it. We waited a couple of months to see if the permanent would come down but it hadn`t yet. The dentist then made an incision in the gum to expose the tooth hoping that would help. Now we are just hoping and waiting again. Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Answer:

The question is whether the permanent tooth still has the ability to erupt into the mouth on its own. Your description of "curly roots" on that tooth raises concern and you should consider seeing an orthodontist or pediatric dentist for a second opinion. If it does not erupt, the tooth can be surgically exposed and a bracket attached so that it can be brought down orthodontically. The sooner that starts, the better.

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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