Missing First Front Tooth from Damaged Gums, Options for Filling the Gap?

My son is 8 years old. At age of 5 he damaged his gum above the first tooth. Now he doesn't have the adult first tooth. The dentist said for now he'll get the removable dental appliance (to save the place) after that the braces and as adult gets the implant. Is there any other options to fill this gap (after all this is the first front tooth)? And another question: is he alowed to play the clarinet with no first tooth?(Another first tooth is not in the very right possition)

Doctor Answers 5

Options for a missing tooth in a child

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The removalble appliance with a replacement tooth is a very good option.  The other option is a bonded artificial tooth. The least invasine option is the removalble appliance.  They are not very costly and are replaced easily if necessary.  The bonded option can cause some issues with his adjacent natural teeth if not properly cared for.  In the future he will be able to have a dental implant placed, but not until around 17 or so when the growth of his jaw has stopped.  This age is different in everyone.  Because he will not have had a tooth in the area for several years he may require a bone grgaft to that area if the bone in the area resorbs over time.  This scenario is quite common, but not definite. 

Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Options for a Missing Front Tooth

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There are exciting options for children that are missing permanent teeth.  You definately want to wait until the child is grown(boys must wait longer) to do a Implant.  You can use a removable retainer for sure, or find a dentist who will use a fixed retainer to hold the space!  There are all sorts of options-There are dentists  who are on the cutting edge and may be able to guide you!  The problem with learning to play the clarinet with  a missing tooth is that eventually the tooth will be replaced permanently and then will there be a big adjustment?  Always questions!!

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

Replace missing front tooth without bridge, implant or denture: The Bonded Tooth Pontic

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Simple: Do a bonded tooth pontic. Notch the adjacent teeth and place a small piece of paperclip gauge wire, bonded into the notches with flowable composite resin. Then bond a hand-sculpted tooth with TPH resin in a shade to match. When he is finished with braces, then go for the implant and use the method above as a temporary crown while the implant is healing. 


Mitchell A. Josephs, DDS
Palm Beach Dentist

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MIssing front tooth in 8 year old boy. What are your options

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Restoring this tooth can be a challenge.  Your son is still growing and the space with change.  You cannot use the same options as an adult.  When it come time for an implant you will need to place a bone graph since he will have been missing the tooth for quite a long time.  Your only option at this point would be to use a removable appliance or place a tooth help in with his braces.  He should not have a problem playing the clarinet

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Growing children make dental restorations a challenge

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There really is no other way to hold the space, as your son is still growing and the space will change over time.  Options that are available to adults are often not acceptable with children, and due to extreme cost differences, aren't often chosen.

In addition to holding the space with a retainer, be prepared to need to graft the area for an implant when that day comes.  The bone will not completely develop and likely will not have adequate bone for an implant when the day comes, likely around age 25.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.