My daughter never received one of her adult lateral incisors. When the baby one fell out, our dentist said not to worry about it because the adjacent teeth would shift to fill in the spot. While they did, it left a bit of a gap, which leaves my daughter feeling embarrassed by her smile. This is her senior year and I’d like her to be able to go off to college feeling good about her smile. I spoke to another dentist and they recommended we open up the space and then place a dental implant there. I don’t think she’d be too keen with a mouth full of braces during her senior year of high school. Is there another option?
The above image shows a smile with missing lateral incisors. In the place of them are her canine teeth. As you can see, the smile doesn’t look normal. Instead, it is almost vampiric. Your daughter’s smile would look even stranger with one canine tooth. The advice her childhood dentist gave you was horribly bad.
The second dentist’s advice is sound. Your daughter has other choices aside from a full mouth of metal. Her first option is Six-Month Smiles which will allow her to fix her front teeth quickly. A second option is for her to get Invisalign. These use clear aligners instead of wires and brackets. Most responsible teenagers do very well with these. Then, when that is ready, a dental implant will be a fantastic idea.
What Her Original Dentist Should Have Done
Ideally, when her baby tooth came out and there was no adult lateral incisor, her dentist should have provided her with a dental flipper. This would have held the spot open so when she was old enough you could have just placed the dental implant. Now, because of his bad advice, you are having to add orthodontics to the mix.
I say this as a cautionary measure to others reading this post in two ways. First, in giving them the correct way to handle this situation. Second, in knowing that anytime you have a major dental decision to make, there is never any harm in getting a second opinion before moving forward.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.