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Retained Baby Teeth

Retained Baby TeethRetained Baby Teeth

Baby teeth will normally fall out by themselves. The adult tooth should grow up beneath the baby tooth and knock it out.

However they will often not fall out, especially if the adult tooth is missing and will need to be removed by a dentist.

Baby teeth which do not fall out may sometimes sink back into the gum if left in place. If  this happens the surrounding adult teeth will tilt over the baby tooth. This causes a food trap and an area which is difficult to clean. It may also disturb the occlusion causing crooked teeth.

The x-ray on the left shows

    • a baby tooth which has not fallen out, this is the bottom of the 3 teeth.
    • Above the baby tooth is a small extra tooth which should not be there. It has stopped the adult tooth erupting and knocking out the baby tooth.
    • The top tooth is an adult tooth which has been prevented from coming into the mouth by the small extra tooth.

The removal of baby teeth is a simple extraction if the patient is old enough to co-operate. Some light oral sedation can be used to help young children to co-operate.

Removal of the extra tooth and bringing the adult tooth into the mouth would normally require the help of a specialist dentist.

Children are entitled to have this treatment carried out and paid for by the HSE and you should contact your local HSE dental clinic. Your general dentist will be able to direct you to the correct clinic.

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