On the left side of my mouth, the incisor and canine teeth are still the baby teeth, even though I am almost 30 years old. The permanent teeth never grew in. My smile really looks funny. The 2 small teeth are very noticeable. I am thinking about replacing the small teeth with dental implants. I don’t want porcelain crowns or veneers. Is this possible? Thank you. Ashleigh from Vermont
Thank you for your question. Although Dr. Thomas would need to examine your teeth and take a CT scan for an accurate diagnosis, we will provide some information on adults whose primary teeth are not replaced with permanent teeth.
If you still have two primary teeth, it is likely that the permanent teeth are impacted. You cannot replace the teeth with dental implants until an implant dentist or oral surgeon identifies the location of your permanent teeth.
Permanent canine teeth are usually impacted if when they do not erupt. It is not uncommon for later incisors, premolars, and wisdom teeth not to form. If your permanent teeth are impacted, your dentist can refer you to an orthodontist who can help them to erupt into the correct position.
How Can an Orthodontist Help Permanent Teeth Erupt?
After removing your primary teeth, an orthodontist can help your permanent teeth erupt. Usually, the orthodontist will make a surgical opening in your gum tissue. If the tooth needs assistance in erupting into the correct position, braces can guide it into place.
The orthodontist will determine if there is enough room for each tooth to erupt or if they need to make room for it with extraction. Sometimes, after braces align your teeth, spaces remain, and dental implants can fill them.
Your dentist can work with an orthodontist to develop a treatment plan to remove your primary teeth and replace them with permanent teeth or dental implants.
Dr. Siny Thomas of Sugarland, Texas, sponsors this post. He is a graduate of the Kois Center for cosmetic and restorative dentistry.