For most of us, baby teeth, what we call “primary” or “deciduous” teeth, come out on their own. However, sometimes they don’t, and we have to make a decision about how to deal with these teeth that weren’t made to last a lifetime. Nor are they suited for the size and shape of the adult mouth.
Unhealthy Retained Teeth
Our primary teeth aren’t really meant to last a lifetime. Add to that the tendency of kids to not take good care of their teeth, and many retained primary teeth can be unhealthy. They may already have fillings or have untreated decay. They may even be infected. And sometimes they are more susceptible to gum disease because of the irregular spacing between them and your adult teeth.
We will evaluate the health of your retained teeth when deciding how to proceed. For teeth with cavities that have sound roots, a dental crown can perform the dual function of repairing the tooth and making it more like your adult teeth.
If your baby tooth has been infected, but the root is still sound, root canal therapy can remove the infection and make the tooth fit into your natural smile.
However, if gum disease threatens a retained baby tooth, it may be best to remove the tooth and replace it with either a dental implant or dental bridge.
Healthy, Unattractive Retained Teeth
But what if your retained teeth are healthy, just unattractive? We can help with this, too. All that’s necessary is to reshape the crown of the tooth so that it matches the other teeth.
Depending on the shape and size of the retained teeth, veneers can sometimes be used to do the reshaping. However, it’s usually necessary to use dental crowns that fit completely over the retained teeth.
You Can Have a Smile You’ll Love
Through a combination of genetics and lifestyle we were brought up to, many of us feel trapped by our family smile. It may have been true in the past that you can’t pick your smile any more than you can pick your family.
But that’s not the case anymore. Today, we have the technology and techniques to overcome the limitations of your smile so that you, too, can enjoy a beautiful, healthy, natural-looking smile. To learn more about your options for cosmetic dentistry, please call (702) 873-0324 today for an appointment with Summerlin dentist Dr. James B. Polley.