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Pediatric Dentistry/Making space for adult tooth


My daughter is 12. Her adult teeth have had some trouble coming in, so the dentist removed several baby teeth a year ago. One tooth (a bottom premolar, I think)has still refused to come in. The dentist mentioned putting a spacer in place, then decided to wait, twice. Bad idea, I guess, now he says the space has closed up and we will need to pay $2,000 for braces to open the space, then surgically force the tooth out and use the braces to pull it up. Sounds painful and expensive. Do you think this is the best option? Can you suggest any alternatives? I might be changing dentists!

Dear Janeen;

Without X-rays it is a little tricky to diagnose this problem, however, it sounds like some orthodontic treatment needs to be done to open up the space for the premolar. Most likely her second molar on that side probably is coming in an helped close the space. Whether a surgical procedure is needed to bring the tooth in is in my opinion still premature.  First the space needs to be opened and then with X-rays monitor the eruption of the premolar to see if it will come in on its own. This all depends on how deep the tooth is in her mouth.  

A second opinion may be in everyone's best interest.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Glen

Pediatric Dentistry

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Glen Ehrenman D.D.S.


I can answer any question in the field of pediatric dentistry which may include questions regarding interceptive orthodontics.


I have been in private practice for 26 years in Westbury, NY. My practice treats patients from infancy through their late adolescence.

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Nassau County Dental Society American Dental Association New York State Dental Association

SUNY at Stony Brook, School of Dental Medicine 1981-1985 Eastman Dental Center, Rochester, NY, Pediatric Dentistry 1985-1987

Awards and Honors
Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Clinical Asst. Professor-SUNY at Stony Brook, School of Dental Medicine-Dept of Children's Dentistry Attending DDS-SUNY Stony Brook University Hospital Attending DDS-North Shore University Hospital at Syosset Attending DDS-Winthrop University Hospital

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