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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids

Unerupted Molar with No Roots



My daughter is 14 years old. It was recently discovered by our dentist that one of her 12-year molars has not erupted, and, apparently, it has no roots. The dentist said this is uncommon. What does this mean for my daughter? Will the tooth need to be exposed and pulled out?The dentist suggested braces but I don`t see how this will help. Can you please explain. Thanks.


Delayed development of permanent molars is uncommon, but can usually be easily managed. Most often these teeth do eventually develop and erupt, so conservative treatment is usually indicated. The eruption of the 12 year molar opposite the unerupted tooth must be monitored and, many times, another molar may be missing.

Your daughter should see a pediatric dentist who will complete an exam, review her radiographs, and explain the issues and treatment options to consider.

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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