Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana discusses reasons a child may be missing his or her adult teeth and what treatment options are available.

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Hi! I’m Dr. Holly Austgen with Southeast Family Dental and today we are going to talk about children that are missing their adult teeth. As children start losing their teeth, many parents worry about how and when the adult teeth will come in. But what if they haven’t come in or you have been told they won’t? Now what?

There are many reasons why children will not get their adult teeth. First, it’s possible that the child lost their baby tooth too early and the adult tooth is not ready to come in. It could also be that the adult tooth does not have enough room to come in between the teeth that are already there, or for that, or one other reason, the adult tooth simply did not form.

Treating this problem in children will vary based on why the adult tooth has not come in. For instance, the adult tooth is just not ready to come in, the dentist may want to place an appliance that will hold the space until the tooth starts coming through the gums. This treatment prevents the issue of not having enough room for the adult tooth to come in. When the adult tooth does not have room to come in, it becomes more involved and an orthodontist will need to be consulted to move the other teeth in order to make room and in some cases an appliance to pull the tooth through the gums.

And lastly, when an adult tooth has failed to form, there are a few ways to address this. Often, if it’s one or two teeth, a patient can maintain the baby tooth for as long as possible. Very often, if well taken care of, someone can keep their baby tooth long into adulthood and sometimes for life. However, if the baby tooth is lost or needs to be removed, other options can also be discussed.

If the missing adult teeth are more than one or two, this becomes an issue with function and maintenance of the teeth that are there. First, though, if a child is missing multiple adult teeth, a consult with the child’s pediatrician is recommended to rule out conditions that may affect the entire body.

A child missing their adult teeth can have a broad range of very straight-forward treatments to other conditions that require more involvement with your dentist. It is important that a child be seen on a regular basis to keep an eye on their adult teeth and how they’re coming in.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 317-359-8000. This is Dr. Austgen with Southeast Family Dental, and remember, we can make you smile!