My child has lost a permanent front tooth, what should I do?

This is a follow up blog to the one about a child with a loose permanent front tooth.  I received an e-mail saying that their 8 year old had just lost their permanent front tooth and asked me what could be done to treat this problem.  This is a difficult situation because the child is in a transitional state from their primary dentition (baby. or milk teeth) to their permanent teeth.  This transitional state lasts about 4 to 5 years.  During this time, their mouth is in a state of constant change.  The bones are growing and they are losing baby teeth and having permanent teeth erupt (come into the mouth) to replace them.  It is important for the child’s self esteem, dental function, and other reasons to have some type of replacement tooth placed to replace the lost tooth.  This is especially true with the front, or anterior teeth.

The best way of replacing the lost tooth during these developmental years is a transitional partial denture.  This is a dental prosthesis, or appliance that is made of acrylic and supported by the remaining teeth and  has a false tooth placed in the acrylic to replace the extracted tooth.  Because of the changes taking place in the child’s mouth, nothing permanent should be done until about age 18.

To make this transitional partial denture, impressions (molds) of the upper and lower teeth should be taken as well as a record of how their teeth come together ( a bite registration).  This sent to a dental lab for construction and then returned to the dental office for adjustments and placement in the patient’s mouth.  As the child grows and has their baby teeth replaced by their permanent teeth, the transitional partial denture may need alterations or adjustments made to insure that it fits properly and to assure patient comfort and compliance in wearing the partial denture.

Once the child has reached adulthood, a permanent solution can be decided upon and completed.  This may be anything from an implant and crown; a permanent bridge; or a permanent partial denture and depends on what the patient’s needs are at that time.

My blogs are not meant to diagnose, or prescribe treatment for any individual, but are only to help educate people about  things pertaining to dental issues and questions.  Please see your local dentist for any dental problems you, or a family member may be having.  My hope is that my blogs may useful in helping people everywhere have a better understanding of  dental procedures and terms.   If you have any questions, or comments, feel free to e-mail them to me at

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DISCLAIMER: This blog is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any specific dental or medical problem. If you do have a problem, please consult your dentist or doctor for treatment.

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My child has lost a permanent front tooth, what should I do? » The Tooth Truth…

Loss of a permanent front tooth in a child is a difficult problem to treat due to the changes taking place in the mouth from about age 8 until about age 13….


Again. Good post. The issue of getting a temporary replacement for the lost permanent tooth isn’t merely for self-esteem. The position of the teeth around the lost tooth may become abnormal and cause further complications as they grow.

I found this very informative. My daughter just had a perminate tooth pulled out by the oral surgeon by mistake. He was suppouse to pull out the extra tooth. Unfortunatley, it’s her top main tooth. Thank you for your information.

This happened to my sons two front teeth at the age of 9. In,fact three times it has been broken, each time getting harder to replaced. Thank you for this info, will have to wait and pray that this accident does not repeat, until he can do something permanently.

My child has a “dead” front tooth. He had it come out in an accident. He is 8ys old like the above situation

He is not complaining about any pain or discomfort.

Due to the temporary fixture, I am hesitant to do something until he complains. Are there any other options outside of the “flipper” I am tempted to just leave it “as is”

I understand without xrays there is little you can do to guide me. I also understand these are just options listed not dental recommendations.

Frustrated that there are not more options

Hi, just having a small panic myself. My daughter has just lost her front tooth and she’s 5 years old.i thought it was her adult tooth and am worried – will it never grow back? she so young and brushes everyday. and the dentist can not see us for 8weeks! any feedback would be great. Thank you.

The tooth she lost is a baby tooth. The permanent tooth has been coming in directly below the baby tooth and as it does the root of the baby tooth is dissolved so that the baby tooth can come out easily. The permanent tooth should start to appear within a few months. This is the normal process for all 20 of the baby teeth and will continue to happen for the next 6 – 8 years. Good luck and she will be just fine. No reason to panic. Dr. Max

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