Understanding The Over-Retention Of The Milk Teeth

If you have a young child, then you likely keep track of certain things to make sure that your child is on track at all times when it comes to their growth and development. Well, this definitely should include the mouth and the way that the milk teeth fall out to make room for the permanent adult teeth. Unfortunately, the baby teeth are not always forced out of the mouth when they should be. Keep reading to learn about this issue and how it can be resolved.

What Is The Over-retention Of The Baby Teeth?

Over-retention of the baby teeth is a condition where the baby teeth remain intact and present in the mouth for longer than they should be; this can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes one or several adult teeth may be missing, and this is considered a congenital issue. Other times there may not be enough space for the adult teeth to move up into the jaw; this is an issue with extreme crowding where the adult tooth may get stuck underneath other adult teeth. This sort of overcrowding issue can occur as well if there are additional adult teeth that get in the way of the ones that are naturally supposed to erupt. 

Oftentimes, adult teeth will erupt through the gums, but they will do so in a different position. They may force to adjacent adult teeth to fall out in another region, or they may come through in front of or behind an adjacent tooth. These types of situations can present some orthodontic difficulties later on.

How Is Over-retention Dealt With?

If an over-retention issue is noted, then a pediatric dental specialist can treat the problem. First, x-ray images are taken to see if the permanent teeth can be located in the jaw. If the permanent teeth are present but trapped, then the other permanent teeth may be shifted to create space for them. 

If the permanent tooth cannot be located, like in the case of a congenital issue where it never developed, then the baby tooth will be examined. If it is in good condition, then it will be left in place and treated like an adult tooth. If it is too small or otherwise not aesthetically appealing, then it can be pulled out. 

The extraction of the tooth may be timed in conjunction with orthodontic treatments, especially if overcrowding issues are noted; this way, the orthodontist can make the most of the additional space once the tooth is removed.

If tooth removal is scheduled early and before an orthodontist can start treatment, then a space saver device may be inserted to keep the teeth from shifting into the open area.

If you want to know more about over-retained baby teeth or any other pediatric dental condition, speak with a pediatric dentist.