When baby teeth don’t fall out according to schedule they are said to be “over-retained.” As a rule children start to lose their baby teeth by the time they are six years old. By age twelve most children will have lost all of their baby teeth and will have a full set of permanent ones. There is about a year’s leeway in the process but if after that time your child still has his baby teeth you can consider them as over-retained. At this point an evaluation is recommended.
An over-retained baby teeth could mean that there is a problem with the permanent tooth that is meant to replace it. In most cases the reason for the retention is that the permanent tooth is just slow in pushing out the primary one but your pediatric dentist will take x-rays to determine exactly what is going on underneath the surface of the gums.
If the baby tooth is healthy and in proper position your dentist will probably advise letting nature take its course. If there is any risk to the surrounding teeth however, or if the over-retained tooth is disfigured, extraction is always an option. Often times when a permanent tooth is having trouble erupting in place it will find an alternate route meaning that it may come in behind the over-retained baby tooth. Once the baby tooth is gone the permanent one will take its place according to plan.
Kaelin Pediatric Dentistry is located for patient convenience. Call the Parker Square office @ 303-835-9330 for your appointment.