Q: My daughter just started preschool and one of her baby teeth never grew in. She is missing her right upper incisor next to her two front teeth. Is this normal?
A: Typically, this tooth erupts at around nine months of age. I say “typically” so that parents do not become too worried; there is a long range for normal. However, if your daughter is entering preschool and all other teeth are in place, it is most likely that it never developed. When no primary tooth develops, there will be no permanent tooth. The maxillary laterals are very common teeth to be missing. I would take her to your dentist and ask for a radiograph. It is possible that the tooth bud was twisted and the tooth is impacted in the bone. It is more likely that no tooth bud ever developed. Once you know this, you can plan with your dentist and an orthodontist the best treatment plan for your daughter.
Ellen McOmie, DMD, McOmie Family Dentistry
5999 Shallowford Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37421