Baby teeth, also known as “primary” teeth or “deciduous” teeth, are supposed to come out on their own. However, for some people, these teeth don’t fall out like they’re supposed to. Instead, they stay in place while all the other primary teeth fall out and are replaced.
This is uncommon, but it does happen. In fact, some people end up keeping all their baby teeth. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry gives us options for people who have baby teeth long after they’re supposed to be gone.
Unhealthy Retained Teeth
Baby teeth aren’t designed to last a lifetime. They just naturally wear down with time. And when you add to that the fact that kids are attracted to sugary snacks and may not be the best at caring for their teeth, retained baby teeth are often unhealthy. They may have decay that is untreated or has been restored with fillings. Sometimes they are infected.
Retained baby teeth may also be at a higher risk for gum disease. That’s because the spacing between them may trap food, which can feed dangerous oral bacteria.
Before we decide how to deal with your retained baby teeth, we’ll carefully evaluate their health. If teeth have decay in the crowns but are sound in their roots, a dental crown is usually the best option. A dental crown can both protect the baby tooth and build it up to make it look like a natural adult tooth.
In some cases, decay has turned into an infection, but the tooth root is still sound. If that’s the case, we’ll recommend root canal therapy, which removes the infected part of the tooth before restoring it to look more like a natural adult tooth.
But if the tooth is unhealthy, either because of infection of the tooth or due to gum disease, we might recommend that you remove it and replace it with a dental implant or dental bridge.
Healthy, Unattractive Retained Teeth
However, natural baby teeth may be healthy but unattractive. So what can we do, then? In that case, we’ll see what needs to be done to make the baby teeth look like natural adult teeth.
Sometimes, dental veneers are all that’s necessary to make these baby teeth look beautiful.
If the teeth are small, we might recommend instead that a dental crown be used because it provides more stability and protection for the small tooth.
You Can Have a Smile You’ll Love
We understand: you might feel like your smile is your smile and there’s little you can do about it. But the truth is that cosmetic dentistry gives us many options for helping you achieve a beautiful smile that you’ll love.
Would you like to learn what we can do about retained baby teeth in Rockland County? Please call (845) 627-7645 today for an appointment with skilled cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Dunayer at B & D Dental Excellence in West Nyack.