Do you think baby teeth are just for kids? Think again! In Decatur, GA, some adults still have their baby teeth, and it’s more common than you might imagine. While most individuals bid farewell to their primary teeth by the age of 12, there are exceptions where a baby tooth lingers into adulthood. Don’t fret; we’ve got you covered with various options to ensure your smile remains as radiant as ever.
The typical cause of retaining a baby tooth is the absence of an adult tooth to take its place. As permanent teeth grow in behind them, they usually push out the baby teeth. But in some cases, the adult tooth fails to develop, leaving the baby tooth in place while other adult teeth grow around it. Although the exact reason for this phenomenon isn’t entirely known, genetics could play a role, as the retention of baby teeth often runs in families and is slightly more prevalent in women.
Now, you might wonder why you should be concerned about keeping a baby tooth around. One primary reason is aesthetics. Having a baby tooth amidst your adult teeth can look a bit unusual, especially if it’s one of your front teeth visible when you smile.
From a dental perspective, there are clinical concerns related to retained baby teeth as well. These baby teeth can still fall out in adulthood since they sometimes have shallow roots, making them less secure in your mouth. The absence of an adult tooth to take their place creates a gap, which can disrupt your bite’s function and misalign your other teeth. As a result, your adult teeth may start shifting towards the gap, causing them to become crooked.
So, what can be done about a retained baby tooth in Decatur, GA? If it appears that the baby tooth lacks a robust and deep root structure, your dentist may recommend removal. After extraction, you have several options. The optimal solution is a dental implant, a prosthetic tooth with a metal root that functions just like natural teeth. However, in cases where there’s been bone loss in the area, an implant might not be feasible. In such instances, your dentist might suggest a permanent bridge or partial denture to fill the gap effectively.