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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids

Daughter missing 2 adult lateral teeth



My daughter is 17 years old and at the age of 13 the dentist told me that she does not have her permanent lateral teeth. Well they ended up pulling those lateral baby teeth and she got braces. the gaps have been closed but it bothers her that she has two missing teeth which affects her smile. After 2 and a half years of braces she had them removed, but needed them again two years later. I am considerding having her remove the braces to insert two fake lateral teeth. I need opinions on this because my daughters orthordonist doenst have much experience with this. Thank you


There are several options to consider when treating a child who has missing upper lateral incisors. One is to close the spaces orthodontically and to cosmetically alter the upper canine teeth to look like lateral incisors. Another option is to maintain the spaces for the lateral incisors and replace them with prosthetic ("false") teeth. The success of implants today makes them the first choice for this purpose.

It is always a good idea to get a second or even third opinion when trying to decide among several treatment options in complicated cases, like your daughter's. Prosthodontists are dentists who specialize in replacing missing teeth and I recommend that you have your daughter examined by one to advise you of alternative treatment plans.

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Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University