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FAQ:  Braces

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I'm 14. About 8 months ago I got my top two canines pulled and they are still not grown in yet.

My dentist says that he can put braces on, after they grow in. Is it mandatory to wait for them to grow in? My friend has braces and her canines aren't grown in either and she just has brackets in front of the gap.

Why can't my orthodontist / dentist do that? I'm tired of waiting because the gap and my teeth bother me. ... Visitor from Asheville

Hopefully the canines you had pulled were your baby teeth. If they were your secondary teeth.... there will not be any more teeth growing back in.

Assuming the pulled canines were baby teeth, there is a reasonable chance that your "hidden" adult canines can be "encouraged" to erupt with the use of orthodontic chains. Although hidden by gum tissue, a dental laser can be used, in some cases, to expose the tip of the "yet to emerge" adult tooth so an orthodontic appliance can be attached to accelerate the eruption of that tooth.

For patients who have no hope of having adult canines appearing (a fairly common birth defect), dental implants are used to insert new canine crowns at an age where growth spurts have ended.... usually around the age of 17-20 years old.

It may be helpful for you to ask more specific questions about your dental treatment so you know exactly WHAT to expect and WHEN certain milestone events will occur.

Editorial Staff

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