Nine-year-old With No Molars

My niece just recently had her teeth examined and it was found that through some genetic defect, she won't have any molars, and that her very few baby teeth had absorbed her extremely few adult teeth. She has no six or twelve year molars and her baby teeth are becoming misshapen. I was curious what types of treatments might be available to her? So far the only one we've been told about is screwed in molars. I'm wondering if there might be some other "newer" treatments out there.

My niece is nine years old and I would very much like to help her out if I could.

Question:

This sounds like a very interesting case. While I do not disbelieve you, it is hard for me to imagine the primary teeth are changing shape at this stage. Generally, once the primary teeth have developed and erupted, they do not continue to change, unless they are getting worn through use and possible tooth grinding.

As far as treatments go, "the screwed in molars" known as implants are the most advanced technology we have for replacing missing teeth. While implants were developed a number of years ago (at least 15), some still consider this technique to be experimental. Actually, as more experience is gained in this procedure, the technology and expertise is greatly improving. Not all patients are good candidates for implants, however. A certain amount and type of bone must be present for implants to be successful. Also, your niece is too young at this point to consider this as an option. She needs to have completed her growth before this treatment may possibly be successful.

In the mean time, to help develop her occlusion (the way the upper and lower teeth fit against each other), chewing ability, and facial muscle tone, some type of partial dentures should be considered. She will have to have them replaced as she grows for proper fit, but she will have chewing function in the posterior region, which will also help to save wear and tear on her anterior teeth.

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