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Dentistry/Pulling Primary Teeth


Good afternoon!

My son is 7 and has "shark teeth" on his lower front teeth--the adult teeth are starting to grow in behind the baby ones. We took him to the dentist for his 6 month checkup and--as expected--she wants to pull those two primary teeth.

She also wants to pull both adjacent teeth as the x-ray shows the teeth growing in are too big and won't fit in the spot available even if the two loose teeth in front fall out. (The two adjacent ones are not wiggly yet.)

The x-ray--to my untrained eye--looks like the permanent teeth will in fact hit the adjacent ones. But I can't tell if it is just an optical illusion because the x-ray film is closer to the permanent teeth like forced perspective.

How do I know if this extraction is actually necessary or just a procedure driven dentistry act? Any specific questions to ask?

I have attached the x-ray.

Thanks for volunteering your time.


Dear Michael,

Your dentist is correct.  All 4 of the front baby teeth should be removed to allow the adult teeth to come in.  Although it may be true that his jaw will grow longer and wider as your son grows older, it appears that your son does have permanent teeth that will be too large for the space that will be provided.  Removing these baby teeth now may allow the permanent teeth to come in at the appropriate time and in better position.

Having said this, it is still likely that your son will need braces to correct the jaw-tooth discrepancy.  


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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