Humans have two different sets of teeth. The first one is the milk teeth or primary teeth, which develop in the womb and erupt to the surface in infancy.
Once the child turns six, the baby teeth should begin to loosen and give way to the second set known as the permanent teeth. Sometimes over-retained baby teeth will occur when there is more than a year’s delay in the eruption of the permanent teeth.
For some people like Emily Cheeseman, a 28-year-old from England, the eruption of adult teeth can be delayed for 20 years.
The Story of Emily Cheeseman
Cheeseman, who is from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, only had her six front baby teeth at the age of 28.
She has a rare medical condition called hypodontia, which means her adult teeth never grew in place of the primary ones. Lucky for her and thanks to advancements in restorative dentistry, she had the option to have the teeth removed to make room for adult-sized dental implants.
The Waiting Act
Altered occlusion and shifting of the adjacent teeth are the potential results of over-retained primary teeth.
Fortunately, there are treatment options available, which depend on the condition of the baby teeth and the adjacent structures. If the teeth are functionally and aesthetically acceptable, with good root and coronal structure and do not interfere with orthodontic concerns, they may remain.
If the teeth are not structurally and aesthetically acceptable, and if no amount of reshaping can improve it, an adult-sized prosthetic replacement may be necessary. Removable dentures or a fixed bridge are suitable options, but the best one so far regarding functionality, aesthetics and durability, is dental implants.
Before anything else, however, it is important to visit an orthodontist for a proper treatment plan.
If you have spent years avoiding the camera due to your baby teeth, there is hope. Like Emily Cheeseman, you can flash your smile with confidence with the help of dental restoration like implants.