I am 35 years old and I have been living with a complicated situation on the upper right section of my smile for almost 20 years now. I have a decaying infant canine which never came out because of the adult canine growing in. The adult grew in the wrong place and never displaced the babyone.
My adult canine #11 grew in over the top of bicuspids #12. Also, I’m told that #13 is too far away from where it belongs and is too complicated in its root structure to be moved with traditional braces. # 11 is partially obscuring the two bicuspids behind it and creating a triangular inner area which is difficult to keep clean. It also happens to be very unattractive. My general dentist isn’t even sure what kind of decay might be going on up in there, but so far it doesn’t hurt or have an odor so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
The whole area needs some serious work, but I’m not sure what the best option is. Do I extract the canines and get braces to widen the space where the baby was, so that a full-sized canine implant can be put in? Or do I extract the canines and get a bridge? Or… can something else be done with a smaller implant + veneers, or something to create the illusion of normal teeth ? Please send me some input…I want to start figuring out which road I need to go down to try and fix this finally.
– Rhonda in Pebble Beach
#12 (your first bicuspid) can be made to look like a canine from the front, so if your canine can’t be moved, I’d consider that option, too, after having the permanent and baby canines extracted. Or one dental implant could work – replacing the baby canine with a permanent canine implant. I wouldn’t do the bridge to replace the canine because your bone will shrink in that position over time if you do that and it will be hard to keep it looking natural. But it’s really tough for me to say without seeing you, seeing the x-rays, and doing a clinical examination. You sound like you have a very interesting case–I’d love to have had you come in my door and be given the opportunity to solve it.
But if you don’t choose my services, keep in mind that I recommend that you not ask a general dentist to do this. My recommendation – find an excellent cosmetic dentist and trust his or her judgment.