Missing Permanent Tooth-braces or Implants, or Both?

I'm 27.My first lower molar is a baby tooth, no permanent tooth. Orthodontist says i can remove the baby tooth and push the other two molars forward with braces for 1 1/2 years, allowing the wisdom tooth to come out(there's no space now for it to come out now)or remove the wisdom and baby tooth and put an implant.He says there's 'not much root' left under the baby tooth so he doesn't give it too long but I've heard of people keeping their baby teeth for long....what do I do?

Doctor Answers 5

Baby Tooth loss with no adult tooth.

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Welcome to the BTRC (Baby tooth retention club.. or Biter Club for short). I have patients in my practice at all ages who still have their lower baby molars with no permanent tooth below. It's amazing at how these teeth can hang in there for many years with very little root support but they do hang in there. On occasion someones body will just decide its time to kick that tooth out and I have seen some of these teeth break down or come out very quickly but in most cases they seem to stay where they are and function quite well. 

If the tooth does decide to come out then an implant is a great option. The bone is generally in good shape under these teeth so keeping the tooth in there as long as possible is not a bad thing... In my experience. 

no one can predict what will happen with your baby tooth, or how long you will be a proud member of the BTR Club but if you do lose that tooth you have some great options in the form of implants.

Vancouver Dentist

Missing Permanent Tooth

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 Keep it simple. If the baby tooth is functional, not loose, and not heavily restored, keep it for now.  If it ever needs to go, then have an implant.  

Murray Bruckel, DDS
Norwalk Dentist

Teeth should stay where they are supposed to be

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Removing a baby molar and moving permanent molars into that spot (which normally would be a premolar) is not a good idea.  The mouth ideally has teeth in their normal positions, otherwise other pathology can arise.  Narrowing of arches can lead to an imbalanced bite, constricted airway and sleep apnea, TMJ issues among others.

If your teeth are crooked, ortho is a fine option.  Leave the baby tooth in place and when needed remove and place an implant.  Retained baby teeth come out on average around age 35, but I have some people in their 50's with baby teeth.

I would leave it for now.

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Wait for now

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Without knowing all specifics, the ortho option seems to be a bit of a long shot.  I would lean toward the wait until an implant is needed option.  First, make sure you have your general dentist evaluate the baby tooth and look at taking possible impressions of your mouth so they can plan ahead for the implant.

Ortho or implant?

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At age 27 to expect a wisdom tooth to come correctly and then move it forward to close space is a long shot in my opinion I suggest without review of records to remove the wisdome tooth and baby tooth and place the implant good luck



Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD    CEO Baystate Dental PC

Kevin Coughlin, DMD
Springfield Dentist

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.