Seeing Double?

CK Dentistry

If you look in your child’s mouth and see extra teeth peaking out behind primary ones, don’t blame your vision. When a permanent tooth erupts prior to the corresponding baby tooth falling out, it’s called over retention of the tooth. Although it may look odd, it’s not cause for alarm. This doesn’t mean, though, that it doesn’t need to be addressed. In Mint Hill, children’s dentist Dr. Bevin Malley will help you determine how to address the situation if your child has one or more over-retained teeth.

Primary Teeth Primer

Around age 6, most kids begin to lose their primary teeth. Even before you can see them, permanent teeth are formed in the jaw. As a permanent tooth presses on the root of a baby tooth, the root dissolves. This causes the tooth to loosen and fall out. Then, the awaiting permanent tooth takes its place.

Veering Off Course

This course of events described is the typical one. Sometimes, though, things happen a bit differently. A double row of teeth can occur if a child doesn’t have room for the permanent teeth to emerge or if the roots of baby teeth being replaced don’t resorb in a timely manner. In these cases, a tooth that’s ready to erupt will find a way, even if it means taking a different path than expected. And since teeth often erupt in pairs, there’s a good chance that if a tooth is over- retained, the corresponding tooth on the other side will be, too.

Treatment for Over-Retained Teeth

Many times, the retained tooth will come out on its own, and the permanent one will move into proper position. If this doesn’t happen, Dr. Malley may recommend removal of the baby tooth. It’s important, though, that treatment occur in a timely manner, as you don’t want to let the permanent tooth get used to its new spot and fully emerge. This dramatically decreases the tooth’s ability to move forward on its own.

Stay Calm and Call Us

Dr. Malley and the team at Carolina Kids Dentistry are here for you. We’ll explain the situation clearly, answer all of your questions, and walk you through treatment options. Your child’s happy, healthy smile is our greatest reward, and we’ll give you and your child our best every time you visit.