Consequence of Early Loss of A Baby Canine

When Joy is 7 year 9 month old, complicated dental problems are found.  One of her baby canines is gone by itself (Fig.1-3: *, as compared to normal space of C: baby canine on the other side).  The permanent incisors (1,2) on the affected side have shifted and tilted to the missing tooth area (arrowheads).  Is this a big deal?

Yes, huge one. Our baby teeth not only provide chewing for our growing body, but also provide space for the underlying permanent teeth.   When one of them (such as baby canine) is gone too early, the space is lost (Fig.3 *).  It will be extremely difficulty for the underlying permanent canine tooth (3) to grow into (^) the narrowing space (*).  It usually goes to a wrong place.  It looks like a really dog canine tooth.

Removal of baby canines to relieve crowding of permanent incisors is not predictable.  We should keep the baby canines as long as possible.  If crowding of permanent incisors is not solved after natural loss of baby canines, we should place braces.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 04/25/2012, last revision 04/26/2012