Monday, March 12, 2012

Replacing a Retained Primary Tooth

Dental implants and bridges are common prostheses used to restore missing teeth. In the case below, this gentleman had a retained primary, aka baby tooth #H, which was never replaced by the permanent adult tooth #11, the left canine. Recently, tooth #H became increasingly mobile and was causing pain, resulting in the need for extraction. 

The patient's permanent canine, tooth #11, was in fact impacted, and still unexposed in his maxilla. We discussed his options: forced eruption using orthodontics, extracting the impacted canine and placing an implant, or a bridge. After a thorough evaluation taking the patient's wishes into account, we decided to replace the missing tooth with a three-unit bridge.
Above, the teeth on either side of the edentulous space were prepared for a bridge. 

With good oral habits, the bridge should last for years.