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 firstname.lastname@example.org.