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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Pulling of baby teeth in cleft lip and palate

05/27/2008

Question:

In a child who has had cleft lip and palate, baby teeth have been loose for a very long time...throwing the adult tooth off track. Would it be better to pull the baby tooth once it has been loose for a long time so that the adult has a chance to come in the right spot? Or is it better to let the adult come in where it may and pull the baby tooth later?

Answer:

Thanks for the question. It is critical in a patient with cleft lip/palate that the extractions be timed through a team approach of a pediatric dentist/orthodontist/oral & maxillofacial surgeon. In some cases, removing a tooth too soon can delay eruption of the successor. Likewise, sometimes an over-retained tooth can deflect the permanent tooth into an incorrect position. This decision will be made through examination, x-rays and formulation of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Hope that helps.

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Response by:

Sarath  Thikkurissy, DDS, MS Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University