My daughter has congenitally missing lateral incisors. Now that she is starting high school, she is quite embarrassed by her baby teeth when she smiles. Our dentist suggested that we extract her teeth and get braces to close up the space. I am afraid that will look weird. Can you tell me if there are any other options?
I am glad you wrote. Your dentist is giving you very bad advice. I’m glad you picked up on the fact that it would look quite weird if you followed through with his guidance. As you can see from the image above, this girl had done what your dentist is suggesting for your daughter. As you can see, it does not look normal. In fact, it looks downright vampiric.
The baby teeth do need to come out, but I don’t suggest you use traditional braces. Instead, I think your daughter would be more comfortable with Invisalign. These use clear aligners. None of her friends will even know she is having her teeth adjusted. Then, once the space is opened up enough to fit adult-sized teeth, you can get her the replacement teeth she needs.
The best tooth replacement is a dental implant. However, you will have to wait until her jaw is fully developed for that. In the meantime, she can use a temporary tooth replacement in order to hold the spot open for when she is ready for something more permanent. A dental flipper is inexpensive and will serve her well until she is old enough for the dental implants.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.