By Dr. Marina Shurova, DDS
It is a common misunderstanding by parents that baby teeth are not worthy of saving because they are temporary and eventually are replaced by adult teeth. In reality baby teeth are critical to space maintenance before the permanent teeth come in.
In the photo above my 12-year old patient lost his baby teeth (lower jaw) due to tooth decay (cavities) and subsequent extraction at the age of 9. His dentist extracted the teeth and recommended a space maintainer but his parents failed to follow up. As a result the neighboring teeth shifted into the newly created space and the bite collapsed (arrows). Loss of space occurred (see X-ray below) leaving teeth #20 and #29 “stuck” underneath the gums.
To correct the collapsed bite I had to perform a surgical exposure of impacted (stuck) teeth and orthodontic treatment (braces) to guide the teeth into the arch.
We hope this brief review of tooth loss has been helpful. Space loss prevention is critical for development and adult tooth eruption. It can help avoid costly surgical and orthodontic interventions saving patients thousands of dollars!!!
If you believe that you or someone you know (CHILDREN or ADULTS) have lost space (with/without missing teeth) OR have been referred by an orthodontist for surgical impacted tooth exposure…
Contact MyDental (813-908-3636) for an evaluation to prevent bite collapse!