Extracted baby tooth

Removal of a back primary (baby) tooth due to cavities, gum infection or trauma can cause the neighboring adult teeth to shift to that side, and/or the underlying adult teeth to become blocked and impacted.

If one corner tooth (cuspid) is lost early, the front teeth can shift and tip to that side moving the center line of the teeth off center. Teeth moving into an available space takes about six months. If this starts to happen, the corner baby tooth on the other side can be removed and the front teeth will tip back upright and re-center to the jaw.

If a primary molar is removed early, the adult 6 year molar, just behind, can drift forward and block the unerupted bicuspid in front of the molar. A spacer or holding arch needs to be placed to protect the space for unerupted teeth.

Preventing problems from developing is always better than repairing complications from not planning ahead.