Cosmetic dentistry is always about looking good, sometimes it's also about making sure the teeth function as they should. It may sound scary but ectopic eruption doesn't have to be. Ectopic means 'out of place' and eruption refers to the growth of adult teeth through the gums. So ectopic eruption simply means that the adult teeth are growing out of place. Most of these misplaced new teeth can be treated easily.
Causes of Ectopic Eruption
An ectopic eruption can happen with any adult tooth, at the front of the mouth, in the canine teeth or molars.
Adult teeth follow a 'path of eruption' which tells them where to break through the gum and grow. The main cause of ectopic eruption is that this path is incorrect or altered due to inadequate spacing of the baby teeth or if the tooth is larger than average.
Signs of Ectopic Eruption
The only sign you may have of an ectopic eruption in your child's mouth is when you can actually see the out of the place tooth.
However, your dentist may be able to spot the signs earlier than this, in which case treatment can be planned in advance. So make sure you take your child to the dentist regularly.
Why an Ectopic Eruption Should be Treated
Apart from the fact that an ectopic tooth, especially if near the front, can alter the look of your child's smile, an out of place adult tooth can:
- Affect the condition and positioning of other adult teeth as they erupt.
- Be difficult to clean due to its positioning, which means it can trap food and bacteria and decay quickly.
Treatment of Ectopic Eruption
If your child has an ectopic eruption, don't worry, it can be easily treated. In fact, 66% of cases don't require treatment as they will fix themselves within three to six months. Whether your dentist will recommend leaving the tooth alone will depend on the positioning, severity of out of place location and impaction issues of the tooth. Your dentist will check these factors through manipulation and observation of the teeth as well as x-rays.
If your child does require treatment, it will be to move the erupted adult tooth back into its correct position. This may involve extracting some baby teeth to make way for the new tooth. Orthodontic treatment is used to move the ectopic eruption, using orthodontic separators which are small metal or rubber bands placed between the teeth to encourage them to grow apart, removable retainers or fixed braces.
In very severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the teeth.
Don't worry if you find an out of place tooth in your child's mouth or your dentist mentions an ectopic eruption. It can be treated easily, especially if caught early, so visit your dentist with your child regularly. For more information, contact DC Dental.