Retained Baby Teeth: What You Need to Know

Deciduous or baby teeth normally fall out and are replaced by adult teeth as you grow. However, this isn't always the case. Occasionally, baby teeth will remain in place, causing overcrowding of the mouth. The retained baby teeth may prevent your adult teeth from erupting as they should, causing them to become lodged within the gum tissue. Below is a guide to how your dentist will identify and treat retained baby teeth.

X-Ray Identification

Your dentist will first perform a visual examination of your teeth. If they suspect a tooth is a retained baby tooth, they will carry out an x-ray examination to confirm the type and location of retained baby teeth. They will use the x-ray to establish the health and condition of the retained baby teeth and the location of any adult teeth which have been prevented from erupting.

Retaining of Healthy Baby Teeth

If the retained baby teeth are still in good condition, with strong crowns and healthy roots and they are not causing any crowding or impaction, your dentist will probably recommend that you leave them in place for the time being. Removing healthy baby teeth could cause further dental problems.

Modifying Retained Baby Teeth

If a retained baby tooth causes your smile to look off centre or visually unappealing, your dentist may offer to reshape these teeth or to fit veneers. These treatments will help to improve the look of your smile.

Extraction with Space Closure or Prosthetic Replacement

If your dentist identifies baby teeth which have a damaged crown or dead root, they will recommend that you have the teeth extracted. If you are suffering from overcrowding which has caused your teeth to become crooked, after extraction of the retained baby teeth, your dentist will close the spaces between your teeth to correct their alignment and the way they look.

If your dentist identifies baby teeth which will not be replaced by adult teeth, they will insert a prosthetic tooth after the baby teeth have been extracted.

If you have retained some baby teeth, you do not need to panic. Retained baby teeth do not necessarily indicate wider dental problems. Once you have visited your dentist, they will be able to recommend the best course of treatment to correct any issues.

If you do have any concerns about your dental health, contact your dentist today for further help and advice regarding retained baby teeth.