Extra front teeth?

Dear Kim,

I have a 5 1/2 year old son, that lost his first tooth in December. Luckily, he had a scheduled appointment already, and they did x-rays (he hadn't lost it yet, at that point). The dentist showed us that he had "extra" teeth above each of his two front teeth. Shortly after that appointment, he lost his baby tooth, and then went back in to have the extra tooth pulled. Although it was very misshapen, and looking nothing like a permanent tooth, it was very large, and his permanent tooth has yet to show up. He's tentatively scheduled to have the other baby and extra tooth pulled in June/July.

Is it normal for it to take so long for the permanent tooth? And should I ask to have an appointment made to have another x-ray done before they pull the other teeth?


Dear Loni,

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few months for the permanent teeth to appear after the primary teeth are lost. Some factors determining the time frame are the stage of development of the permanent teeth, their location within the bone, and the development of the gingiva (gum tissue) involved. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have another radiograph (x-ray) taken and evaluated now. This may help reassure you. I would definitely recommend requesting a radiograph be taken in June or July if the permanent tooth has not appeared by then in order to reassess the situation before other extractions are performed. Good luck and keep me posted. This sounds like an interesting case.

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