We have a unique situation with my daughter. Although she is old enough that she should have all of her adult teeth, a couple didn’t come in and she still has the baby teeth. Our dentist doesn’t seem to be worried about it and says that her baby teeth could last the rest of her life. She is devastated. The teeth obviously look smaller, and while it didn’t bother her when she was younger, some of the kids at school are now noticing and making her feel very self-conscience.
She’s sixteen and has a great smile, but these teeth make her feel uncomfortable. I have been thinking about implants to replace those teeth, but when I asked the dentist, he pretty much blew the idea off without even considering how this is affecting her. It’s not like she’s just going to one day look in the mirror and decide they look ok. Will implants work? If not, what other options are there? — Judy
While the baby teeth could last a lifetime, it’s understandable how your daughter feels about how they look. The teenage years are hard enough as it is, and it’s no fun to have your peers poke fun at something you have no control over. There are cosmetic options that can help, but at her age she’s really too young for implants. It’s best to hold off until she’s at least twenty and even then, she’ll need to have a dentist evaluate whether or not her jaw is done growing and changing.
Have you checked into a cosmetic dentist who does porcelain veneers? Veneers would cover the top and sides of the tooth, and build it up to make it look like an adult-sized tooth. There are a couple different options as far as the materials they are made of, but a cosmetic dentist will be able to recommend what’s best. As she continues to grow, her face shape will change, too. More than likely, she will need to have the veneers redone or at least adjusted every couple of years.
She can look into implants later on, but for now, a consultation with a skilled cosmetic dentist to find out more about veneers would be best. He or she can evaluate your daughter’s situation fully and help you make the right choice.