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Missing adult teeth on a minor



my 8 yr old is missing two adult teeth and his baby teeth are still in. He also has a crossbite, an openbite and a tongue thrust--what are my options?


You don't say which permanent teeth are missing. Most commonly it is the lower second premolars. In that case it may be prudent to keep the lower primary second molars. The next most common is the upper lateral incisors, in which case the orthodontist must decide wether to use the permanent upper cuspids as laterals or open space for their replacement.

As for the cross-bites, they should be treated now. The open bite may be due to some thumb or tongue habit, and if the cross-bites are being corrected, the appliances could be modified to discourage the habits. You must discuss these options with your orthodontist.

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Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University