A Loose Tooth That Won't Budge: Helping Your Child With An Over-Retained Primary Tooth

Losing primary teeth is part of growing up for children, but in some cases, there can be a stubborn tooth that just won't budge. This is referred to as an over-retained primary tooth. While you typically can wait for your child's teeth to fall out on their own, there are sometimes reasons to take further action. Here are some things you can do to help your child get rid of stubborn primary teeth.

See A Pediatric Dental Specialist

If your child's permanent teeth are already coming in but the primary teeth are blocking the way, you may want to consider visiting a pediatric dental specialist. This dentist can help determine when and if the primary teeth need to be extracted. In some cases, the primary tooth may impede the ability of permanent teeth to come in. This can cause pain and discomfort as well as other complications. However, you may find that the reason that the primary teeth are still firmly rooted is because the permanent teeth have not yet begun to descend. Your pediatric dental specialist can take X-rays and assess the situation.

Extraction And Replacement

In the event that the primary tooth must be extracted but the permanent tooth is missing, your pediatric dental specialist may recommend extraction and replacement. This consists of removing the tooth and adding a bridge or dental implant. This option provides your child with an aesthetically pleasing false tooth that takes the place of the missing permanent tooth. You'll want to confirm that the permanent tooth does not exist before adding a dental implant. 

Extraction And Braces

Depending on where the missing permanent tooth is located, orthodontic braces can be used to fill in the gap where the tooth was once located. Your pediatric dental specialist will be able to determine if braces are a better alternative to tooth replacement for your child. If your child will need braces to correct other alignment issues, they may be a great choice to handle both issues. However, your dentist may decide that this process will need to wait until all primary teeth have fallen out or been extracted.

Simple Extraction

Of course, if the permanent tooth is ready to emerge from the gum line, an extraction may be the best solution. This is a simple procedure that requires only a quick visit to the dentist. Your child may experience some discomfort after the extraction is complete. However, once the tooth is gone, the permanent tooth will have a perfect path to use.

Talk to your child about all of the available options, as he or she may have a preference as to which steps to take. Along with your pediatric dental specialist, you and your child can make the call that's right for your family. Contact a clinic, like Dentistry For Children & Adolescents, for more help.