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Baby Canine Teeth at 16 Years Old

I have senior pictures coming up next year and I want to look good for them.  Last year I discovered that my canine teeth on the bottom and top are still baby teeth. I had the bottom ones removed. While one of the adult canines was close, the other one came in sort of behind the tooth next to it. The gap looks like I don’t have a tooth there at all, which is really embarrassing. I know I need to remove the upper ones too, but I’m afraid of having a gap there like the ones on the bottom. The top is what shows when I smile and my senior pictures are forever. Should I take them out and then get dental implants?


Dear Lizzie,

dental implant next to natrual teeth

You are taking a lot of responsibility for this. I’m curious, have you been under the care of a pediatric dentist this entire time? If so, he or she should have addressed this much earlier on. Where you go from here will depend on a few things. First, are there actually adult canine teeth? If so, are they impacted or coming in. If they’re coming in, are they coming in correctly or will you need some help with orthodontics. A dentist will need to do some x-rays to give as a better idea of how to handle this.

Though there are always exceptions, most of the time when a canine tooth hasn’t erupted it is because the tooth is impacted. Generally, your dentist will just have to make a slit to help it erupt. If it is positioned in a way it is coming in crooked, an orothodontist can help to direct it in properly.

If there isn’t an adult tooth there, that is called a congenitally missing tooth. Those are the cases in which dental implants are useful. However, at 16, your jaw still has some developing to do. It wouldn’t be a good idea to place them until your jaw has fully developed. However, that doens’t mean you have to have mismatched teeth or a gaping hole. Instead, my suggestion would be to get a temporary replacement, such as a dental flipper and then get the implant when you won’t have to worry about changes in your jaw.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.