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  • Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

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    Old 04-07-2008, 07:03 PM   #1
    G2K8
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    Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    Hi all

    Wondering if anyone can shed some light on possible alternatives here:

    I am 33, and have 2 baby molars that never fell out because the adult teeth were congenitally missing, meaning they ain't ever coming up because they don't exist.

    The baby teeth were never pushed out so they've hung around much longer than most people's baby teeth.

    A few years ago I went to a new dentist and they said one day I would probably have to get them taken out as they weren't meant to last that long. Then they started selling me on dental implants, etc etc. I did nothing.

    Last month I went to another new dentist (we moved) who basically gave me the same story but without the "hard sell". She did say that the gingival pocket around the tooth was up to 10 mm now (as deep as they go apparantly) and the gum underneath and around the tooth was infected because the root wasn't as deep as an adult tooth and bacteria etc was caught in the gap.

    I am told the best thing to do is have it pulled and use a bridge.

    I am ok with this - I am worried about having an infection left unchecked, and if it needs to go it needs to go.

    My question - are there any alternatives? just because there's a pocket there does that mean the tooth should go, or could we try to clear up the infection. The tooth itself feels pretty solid in there, not loose at all.

    I don't want to take a risk here - to me a mouth infection is not to be toyed with so Ill yank it if thats what I should do.

    any similar experiences out there? thanks!

     
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    Old 04-07-2008, 10:14 PM   #2
    MaggieMay78
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    Re: Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    Hmm...I think you should see a periodontist. They are dentists with extra years of training; they are experts in periodontal disease, so they know all about "pockets." A 10mm pocket is pretty bad...but I think it would be worth your time to see a good periodontist, and find out what they think. There is a treatment called root scaling and planning, which involves a VERY thorough cleaning of your gums, all the way to the roots of the teeth. A local anesthetic is used (just like you get when you are having a filling)...As I said, it's not a regular cleaning, so without the anesthetic, you will be in pain. Again, not sure if this is an option with 10mm pockets, but no matter what, I would go see a periodontist before you start doing extractions and implants.

    Good luck!

    Last edited by MaggieMay78; 04-07-2008 at 10:14 PM.

     
    Old 04-08-2008, 04:34 AM   #3
    G2K8
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    Re: Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    Thanks for the tips.

    I've wondered about that - the pocket is so large because the baby tooth is losing the root underneath, so while I could have it cleaned I wonder if the pocket would just start accumulating bacteria almost right away after the cleaning. Then again, it was never infected before this year, maybe it would last another few years before eventually needing to come out.

    All of my other teeth are healthy, including the other baby tooth -it has a stronger root with no issues at this time. I am not keen on having it pulled because I think you should hang on to your real teeth as long as possible, but I am also worried about infections, and the affect this could have on other teeth around it if something went wrong...

    It's a toughie, I know - anyone else have a thought?

     
    Old 04-08-2008, 05:00 AM   #4
    charlottefr
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    Re: Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    Personally, I'm becoming a believer in 'conservative management' especially in older patients, like myself.

    What I'm suspicious about is the suggestion to have the healthy tooth removed and replaced with a dental implant or a bridge. If I understand correctly, this is the first time this tooth has given you trouble..and that's apparently because of the pocket underneath it. Should one bout with an infection be enough to warrant the removal of the tooth and replacing it with a pretty costly implant or bridge? I'm not sure.

    Would another alternative be to ask your dentist for suggestions for cleaning around this tooth and you and your dentist continue to monitor both of these baby teeth at each checkup in the future? If you happen to get another infection you will catch it quickly and at that point you could decide along with your dentist whether or not to extract the tooth. Just a suggestion..

     
    Old 04-08-2008, 07:43 AM   #5
    kath74
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    Re: Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    G2
    Greetings. For what it is worth - My sister is 48 with 2 baby teeth. No problems that we are aware of. Not having second (adult) teeth can be a glitch in the family genes- present in my family. Sisters dentist and a family oral surgeon says that they are to be left alone until it is absolutely necessary to take them out. Have daughter at 24 with same issue but has been told especially by surgeon to let them alone. Never heard of pocket below. Been told that as the root diminishes the tooth will become loose and fall out. Not doubting your dentist but..... Is there any pain with this infection, are u sure there is an infection, does the dentist prescribe an antibiotic, just some thougths....I once had a tooth problem and the dentist told me i had severe gum disease and every tooth needed to come out and he would do it there in his office and fit me with upper and lower plates the same day..... i was stunned and left in a emotional mess cuz I never had any problems before that....went to the surgeon for second opinion and was told not to go back to that dentist cuz there was No problem and no gum disease...I am no authority but I am very curious about a pocket infection without symptoms, I can see how it is possible and then necessary to remove the tooth but maybe, just maybe you want another opinion, and maybe the dentist is right. Kinda liked Charlottefr thoughts on this - seem to agree w/her, but again i am no authority but i think i would ask many questions Good Luck let us know

     
    Old 04-11-2008, 07:06 PM   #6
    G2K8
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    Re: Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    Hi all

    Thanks for the tips. Your advice did lead me to seek a second opinion from another dentist, and he was quite good and explaining the whole thing to me. But ultimately he completely agreed that the baby tooth needed to go because an abcess was forming underneath which can be very dangerous.

    I had the tooth out today - literally a pain free procedure. Other than hearing the cracking sound, I was not actually aware the tooth was out. 8 hours later and everything feels good, and I feel good that I dealt with this issue with good information and made the right decision.

     
    Old 04-14-2008, 08:15 AM   #7
    ami68
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    Re: Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    ok, I am 31 and have a baby tooth also. I just started going to a new dentist- whom I LOVE, he doesn't push anything on me. he simply told me that usually about age 40 people generally lose them, like they just get loose, due to the fact that root does not go down as deep, and they just kind of dissolve. my tooth is not loose, and the pocket seems ok, but the tooth itself has gotten really short. like it looks ground down almost to the gum. it feels fine, and doesnt hurt.did you say you have 2 teeth like that? are they keeping the one that is not infected in?

    Last edited by ami68; 04-14-2008 at 08:17 AM.

     
    Old 04-14-2008, 06:31 PM   #8
    G2K8
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    Re: Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    Hi Ami

    Yes the other baby tooth is staying where it is. It still has a healthy root and there's no infection or trouble so the dentist said leave it alone.

    The one that came out had lost one root completely and that is where the infection was starting. It was not loose at all.

    It may help you to know that back when I was 10 or so, my dentist at the time "built up" the two baby molars using that white filling stuff. So that made the teeth a little taller to line them up more closely with the others.

    I would agree with your dentist that if they are healthy there is no need to do anything.

    Hope this helps

     
    Old 05-31-2009, 12:19 PM   #9
    jsbsf
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    Re: Baby Teeth at 33 - and they have to go?

    Hi G2K8,

    You've probably already made a very informed decision. But I just came across your post, and wanted to provide you with my feedback from having a similar experience.

    I am now 41. I had 2 baby teeth that never grew out. They are the ones on top, right in front of the molars (I think they're called bicuspids). When I was about 11 they were about one-third the length of the surrounding teeth. This caused me to have cavities in the surrounding teeth. On the right side, I needed a root canal on the adjacent molar because the cavity got so bad. Nobody explained to me (or maybe they did, and I didn't understand) that these problems were being caused by the baby teeth not growing out.

    When I was 18, I was in the military, and they required that I have these baby teeth removed. So I had a bridge placed on both sides. Over the years, the bridges have been replaced about three times, each. My gums would recede, and the bridges would eventually not look very good. Fortunately, these teeth are in the back, and not so visible. I didn't even consider an implant, because of the additional cost - along with insurance not covering any of it, because it's considered aesthetic.

    Another problem with the bridge, on my right side, is that two teeth required the "strength" to support the entire bridge, and the front tooth had a weaker root/support, and would sometimes "twist" if I would bite into something like bread with a tougher crust. Not only was it painful, but it was damaging the margin along the bridge. Of course another more obvious problem with the bridge is that they had to grind down the surrounding teeth - which, except for the one that had the root canal, were in decent shape, overall. Flossing (with the threader) and maintenance has been difficult over all these years.

    To make matters even worse, and the bridges often would last as little as 4 or 5 years.

    Right now I'm in the process of having a dental implant on the right side - there was decay under the molar. It's sad that when something goes wrong with one part of the bridge, the whole thing has to be removed / replaced. They've already installed the implant, and placed crowns on the two surrounding teeth. Thursday they installed an 'abutment' and should have the implant crown put in place in a couple months. I believe this is the ideal solution, based on all that I've had to deal with throughout these years.

    I still have the bridge on the left side. It doesn't look very good, but there's no decay.

    I believe that although my total cost for the entire procedure is about $5000, it will probably be there for the rest of my life. I'll have to make fewer trips to the dentist than I have made to have the bridges replaced. It's going to look better. If something goes wrong, it will only affect one of the three three teeth, and those crowns can be replaced as needed. Overall, I think paying a littler more now will save me from having to pay much more later.

    Oh, another important consideration is that the three crowns are made out of different materials. The one in front is all white / same color - so if there is some recession, it will not have the dark line along the gumline. The one in back has to be stronger, and so it has the gold underneath. If the gum recedes, nobody will be able to see it when I smile, anyway. With the crown, all 3 were made of the same material.

    Hopefully my experience will help you in making your decision.

    John

     
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