My daughter has four baby teeth that have erupted behind her adult teeth. I’m not sure what to do about it. Do I pull the baby teeth? Will her adult teeth still need braces? I’m surprised this happened. I’ve been deployed for the last year and my husband has been taking her to the dentist (I assume). When I asked him about it he got defensive. Do you have any advice for something like this?
First, I want to thank you for your service. It is greatly appreciated. I know it is a sacrifice. As to the situation you are in, if your husband did take your daughter to the pediatric dentist then they should have addressed this. Since they haven’t, I think you would be better served by a different pediatric dentist or even a family dentist, which is a general dentist who enjoys treating children as well.
You didn’t mention the age of your daughter, so I’ll give a variety of advice for her. First, the baby teeth need to be extracted. Ideally, that would have happened as soon as the adult teeth began to erupt in order to prevent them from deflecting the permanent teeth, but that is water under the bridge.
It is possible she will need some orthodontics. If that happens, both traditional braces or Invisalign for teens will be an option depending on her age and level of personal responsibility.
Congenitally Missing Adult Teeth
Sometimes children have the opposite problem where they have an adult tooth that never forms. When that happens it is best to just leave it there for as long as it is healthy, viable, and aligns with her bite. If any of those change or it falls out, then it will be time for stage 2.
The ideal tooth replacement is a dental implant. However, she’ll need to be of an age where her jaw is fully developed. If she isn’t, then I would use a temporary tooth replacement, such as a dental flipper, which you can get fairly cheaply. Then, when she is old enough, get the dental implant. These are like having a healthy, natural tooth there and are permanently placed. She’ll be able to eat anything and brush and floss as she normally would.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.