Shop 12, Northmead Shopping Centre
2–6 Campbell St, Northmead NSW 2152, Australia

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Double Teeth

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Before photo: 
Case study problem: 

The baby teeth are still there but wobbly. You notice that some new teeth are growing behind them and they are crooked. Those wobbly baby teeth have been mobile for quite some time, yet don't seem to be coming out. So, what's next?

Should we keep waiting for the baby teeth to fall out by themselves? Or do they need to be removed by the dentist?

Do you need to worry about the crookedness of those new teeth? Does it mean the child will need braces later on?

Case study solution: 

This is a very common scenario. Most of the time, part of the normal process.

Baby teeth become loose when their roots are resorbed by the erupting pressure of the successor adult teeth. When the eruption path of the adult successor lines up nicely with the root of the baby tooth, the entire root of the baby tooth will disappear and the remaining crown 'falling out' easily.

Occasionally, despite the whole baby root being resorbed away, the crown will somehow retain a good seal around its edges, sucking onto the gum rather tightly (...like an empty glass being pushed tight against your thigh, squeezing out a little bit of air, creating a slight vacuum effect). You can tell by looking at the colour of the crown --- it will usually have a red hue shining through. A quick, slightly forceful push on the crown (sideway) will often be sufficient to dislodge it. Parents can easily do this at home, if the child will cooperate. A dry, cotton cloth will make it easier to grab the slippery crown.

Sometimes, unfortunately, the eruption path does not line up too well, leaving part of the baby root still very much intact. As a result, the baby tooth may be a little loose, but it is very unlikely to come out by itself. Help from a dentist will be required. Depending on how much root is still present, some cases require only topical numbing cream, while the others may need full local anaesthetics. For this particular kid, some topical numbing cream was all that is required.

As for the crookedness of the newly erupted adult teeth....in many cases, they will gradually straighten out as the jaw develops, esp on the lower jaw. It is an "ugly duckling" stage many kids do go through. However, there are also several other factors that need to be taken into consideration. It is therefore best having a thorough consultation with the dentist to determine if the child will need any early orthodontic intervention.

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Our Doctors

Rachel Wong's picture
BDS (USyd), member of ADA
Briana Fang's picture
BDS (USyd), member of ADA, ANZSPD, IAO & AAOO
Theresa Leong's picture
BDS (Rand), PDD ClinDent
Jaime Maung's picture
BDent(Hons) (USyd)

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