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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Missing Adult Teeth

03/01/2010

Question:

I read a statement about a 6yr old missing an adult tooth. I too just found out that my 10yr old son is missing 8 permanent teeth and has two extra canines that when the permanent canines came in the baby teeth didn`t fall out. His two front top teeth are actually two teeth fused on top of each other and his 6yr molars were said to look like a 12yr molar because they are fused together. I was also told that he will have to have implants when his mouth stops growing. My question is, will his baby teeth that are remaining ever fall out on their own or will they stay. He is scheduled to have a pulpotomy on 4 different teeth in hopes to save them, as we have well water with no floride, and then have them capped. It is projected to have braces pull the gaps closed and draw the remaining teeth together to prepare the spaces left for implants. Is all of this necessary?

Answer:

Your child has a complicated dental problem with many missing and fused permanent teeth. It is not possible to evaluate your son's specific case without examining him but the long-term plan of implants to replace the missing teeth is appropriate. That can't occur until his growth is complete which could be between ages 18-22 or older. In the meantime, it's reasonable to maintain his primary (baby) teeth as long as possible. It is always a good idea to get a second or even third opinion when considering such complicated care. I recommend that you see a pediatric dentist in your area and take copies of your child's x-rays for that appointment.

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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