Replacing two retained baby teeth with dental implants.

This digital smile makeover illustrates the situation where an adult has two retained baby teeth.


If the permanent tooth that should have replaced a baby tooth is missing, that tooth will not fall out as expected.

When this occurs, it's (very) unlikely that the baby tooth will be able to provide service for the person's for the remainder of their life. It's commonplace that at some point in time plans must be made to remove and replace the retained tooth.

Case issues and concerns:

As mentioned above, this person looks like they have a full set of teeth but, in reality, the shortest uppers you see in the "before" picture are baby teeth. The permanent teeth (lateral incisors) that were meant to replace them never came in.

The absence of the permanent teeth has been confirmed by dental x-rays.

The way this smile looks right now is not offensive but it certainly isn't perfect. Since these short teeth can't be expected to last a lifetime, it's reasonable to make plans for their extraction and replacement solely for cosmetic purposes.

This smile has two retained baby teeth.
After dental implant placement.

Photo submitted by website visitor.

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Treatment solutions:

Placing dental implants. -

The plan that's needed is to extract the baby teeth and then replace them with full-sized artificial ones. Dental implants would make an excellent choice for this case. And this is the approach we've illustrated in our "after" picture.

Implants, more so than any other type of dental restoration, come closest to mimicking natural teeth.

  • Unlike replacing teeth with a removable partial denture, an implant is firmly anchored in the jawbone.
  • And unlike a dental bridge where a false tooth is anchored to neighboring teeth, an implant is independent and stands on its own.

Why the baby teeth can't be made longer. -

To the uninitiated, it might seem that the simplest plan would be to simply make the baby teeth longer by placing dental bonding or a dental crown.

The problem with this approach is that the roots of baby teeth are shorter and smaller those of the permanent teeth that replace them. And this diminished root structure would be unable to support a full-sized tooth over the long term.

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Input from site visitors.

My baby teeth lasted into my

My baby teeth lasted into my late 20's when one of them got really loose and had to be removed. i put up with the look for all those years but wish I had had implants placed sooner.

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