My daughter’s lateral incisors never came in after she lost her baby teeth. In x-rays, the dentist told us there weren’t any adult ones to come in. He assured me there was nothing to worry about and that the teeth would shift and close the space. That only happened partially, so there are gaps that embarrass her. I took her to a dentist about it who suggested we have braces to shift the teeth back into position and then add dental implants. My daughter is 16 and feels she is too old for a mouth full of metal, so she doesn’t want braces. Is there another fix for this?
I’m sorry your daughter is facing this, especially since it all could have been avoided if your original dentist understood the aesthetics of a smile. What he should have done was provided your daughter with a simple dental flipper replacing the missing lateral incisors. This would have held the space open until her bite and jaw were developed enough for a permanent replacement.
Your daughter is actually fortunate they didn’t shift all the way over for both aesthetic and functional reasons. First, the aesthetic.
As you can see by the image above, if your dentist had been right and they’d shifted all the way over, your daughter’s smile would have looked ridiculous. While the vampire genre is pretty popular with the teen crowd, it is probably not the look she is going for.
Not only that, but it will cause functional problems. The canine teeth need to be moved back to where it belongs. It has the essential function of protecting your back teeth from the sideways chewing stresses. Its root and tooth are much thicker. Without that protection, it will cause severe problems later.
The Solution to Congenitally Missing Lateral Incisors
It is important that she has orthodontics for this. She doesn’t have to get traditional metal and wire braces. Hopefully, the dentist mentioned Invisalign to her.
This uses clear aligners to fix her teeth which gradually shift her teeth into position. They are completely invisible, even at a conversational distance. Her friends won’t know she is wearing them unless she tells them. It also allows her to eat anything she wants.
Then, she can get her dental implants placed. Giving her a smile she is proud of for years to come.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.