The last time you brushed your baby’s teeth did you notice that he/she is missing a tooth? Or that they have one abnormally large baby tooth rather than two? This could be one of two rare conditions known as tooth fusion or gemination. These two conditions are different, but have some similarities and only about 2 percent of Caucasian children and 5 percent of Asian children will ever experience it. Smile Reef is here to talk about these two conditions and what can be done about them.
What is Fusion of Teeth?
When your babies teeth start to come in, it’s exciting. However, when they don’t come in as expected, it can be alarming. If you have noticed that your child has got a rather large baby tooth rather than two teeth, it could be tooth fusion happening. When two tooth buds fuse together and one large crown emerges, this is tooth fusion. If you look in an x-ray, there will likely be two pulp chambers as well as root canals. This will result in less teeth than expected when your dentist does a tooth count. However, sometimes a tooth fusion causes an extra tooth to grow which would result in a normal tooth count.
What is Tooth Gemination?
If your child has tooth gemination, there is most likely the right number of teeth in their mouth during a tooth count. On an x-ray though, you would see that a tooth bud has tried to divide into two teeth. This would result in one pulp canal, but two pulp chambers. This is most common in primary teeth as well as tooth fusion. When you see that your child has an abnormally wide tooth, you should consult with a dentist to discuss further treatment.
Treatment of Gemination & Fusion Teeth
Sometimes, these primary teeth that are abnormally large have a difficult time falling out on their own. This is why the tooth should be monitored closely by the parents as well as the child’s dentist. Sometimes, germinated teeth are more susceptible to getting cavities because the crowns are so close together. Just another reason for close monitoring. Aside from monitoring, there isn’t much that can be done to treat tooth fusion or gemination. The good thing to note, is that just because a child is experiencing this condition with their primary teeth, doesn’t mean that they will have this same problem as their adult teeth start to grow in. If there is a problem when the adult teeth start to emerge, orthodontics can usually fix the problem and help them achieve their oral health goals.
If you have noticed that something doesn’t look quite right with your child’s teeth, you should never hesitate to call on the professionals at Smile Reef. With our expertise in pediatric dentistry, we are your leading choice in the industry. Call us today to schedule your child’s annual checkup.
We want what’s best for our kids. This includes making sure their teeth are taken care of and there are considerations to make when you want to find a good dentist. Your child needs to feel comfortable, otherwise they will not get their teeth checked and cleaned correctly. If they have a bad experienced early on, it will make them anxious for future visits. You don’t want your children to be afraid of the dentist because good oral care means better overall health. Can you take your child to your dentist or should they go to a pediatric dentist?
General Family Dentistry
A family or general dentist provides a wide range of services instead of specializing in one area. A pediatric dentist may have a limit to the age of their patients, while family dentists will treat any age. Family dentists will usually focus on general dental issues like tooth decay, cavities, plaque buildup and making sure gums stay healthy. If there is a more serious issue, a family dentist will send you to a specialist.
All dentists finish four years of dental school, plus they have a bachelor’s degree. Pediatric dentists also complete two to three years of training on top of that. This training will teach them how to deal with children’s behavior. They learn how to make children less anxious and can take care of dental issues that are unique to children. They are also trained and qualified to treat children that have special needs. Pediatric dental offices are designed for children. There will be a play area and equipment that is more kid-friendly. They also have a way of explaining procedures to children in a way they will understand. Pediatric dentists can identify issues unique to children because children are all they treat.
Advantages of Taking Children to a Family Dentist
• You and your child can see the same dentist
• They are trained to treat children, but may have less experience
• Some provide other specialties at the same office
Benefits of Taking Kids to a Pediatric Dentist
• They have the extra training
• They are more experienced with children
• Better office environment for children and usually more fun
• Tools are designed for children
• They know more about preventative care
• They are better at treating children with special needs
Pediatric VS Family Dentist
Bottom line, a family dentist can treat your child and help prevent cavities, but they can’t give the specialized care a child might need if they go to a pediatric dentist. You take your child to a pediatrician over a doctor, so your child should see a pediatric dentist instead of a family dentist. If you’re still trying to decide, visit both offices and speak with the dentists to get a feeling about where you and your child will fell most comfortable.
Smile Reef offers pediatric dentistry that provides optimal care for your child’s teeth. Our dentists have the training and skills to make visiting the dentist a pleasant experience for your child. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.