Our orthodontists in Pittsburgh receive plenty of questions every day from our patients about their dental and orthodontic concerns, and their child’s concerns as well.

We are always here to help our patients better understand their own – and their children’s – orthodontic situations. A common question we often get is in regards to a child losing his or her baby teeth, yet not having the permanent teeth erupt in time to replace them. There are actually a few common reasons for why your child’s permanent teeth aren’t erupting.

Teeth Require Sufficient Space for Permanent Teeth to Erupt

The most common reason as to why a permanent tooth doesn’t erupt is because there isn’t enough space for it. Permanent teeth at the front of the mouth are wider than the primary teeth that they’ll replace so if there’s not enough space, the permanent tooth won’t have room to come in. Because of this, there should typically be spaces between all of the front primary teeth in order to accommodate these permanent teeth. If the space is insufficient for the permanent teeth, your child might need braces to help the permanent teeth erupt.

The Permanent Tooth Is Going in the Wrong Direction

Another problem that may keep permanent teeth from coming in is that occasionally, they may be heading in the wrong direction. This occurs when the permanent tooth doesn’t follow its primary tooth into the proper eruption spot. This happens more often with upper canines and the lower second bicuspids since they can tend to veer away from the intended course. To help treat this problem, we may need to remove a primary tooth. If the permanent tooth doesn’t drift into its proper positioning, we will likely need to utilize braces to get the tooth in the right place.

Other Reasons Why Your Child’s Permanent Teeth Aren’t Erupting

Two reasons mentioned above are by far the most common reasons for a child’s permanent teeth not to come in. However, there still are other reasons for a child’s permanent teeth not to come in:

A primary tooth was lost on its own and there’s no permanent tooth to take its place immediately.

The permanent tooth is suffering from a primary failure of eruption, where the tooth isn’t able to come out on its own.

The patient is suffering from a condition known as ankylosis, where the teeth are fused to the bone and won’t erupt.

Concerned About Your Child’s Permanent Teeth Not Erupting?

We are always here to help with your questions regarding orthodontics in the Pittsburgh Area!

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