Delayed Eruption of Teeth After Injury

My stepson's upper front teeth were knocked out in an accident when he was five-years-old. That was three years ago. These teeth have never grown back. Is it possible that they never will?


If your stepson was an early developer and had his permanent teeth at the age of 5 years, his teeth will not grow back. Most likely, however, he still had his primary teeth at the time of the accident. Premature loss of a primary front tooth usually delays eruption of the permanent incisor by 1-2 years.

This delay can be caused for several reasons. If the permanent tooth was damaged in the accident and the root was incompletely developed, the cells which form the root may be distorted or displaced. This could result in incomplete root formation, double root formation, or a change in direction of root formation (i.e. dilaceration). These root changes could cause a delay in eruption, which may require orthodontic or surgical intervention. Abnormal changes in other tissue formation or deposition of scar tissue in the tooth eruption path may delay eruption. This type of delay would not necessarily require special intervention.

Take your stepson to the dentist for a radiograph of the area. With this x-ray, the development of the permanent teeth, including root formation, can be assessed. You and your dentist then can discuss treatment options.

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