What Is a Pedi Partial and Is It Safe for a 2 Year 9 Month Old?

Updated on April 12, 2017
A.M. asks from New York, NY
6 answers

My two year 9 month old girl had to get her tooth extracted because of an abscess she got after a fall. She has two pediatric dentists. One of them says that it is safe for her. The other says to just leave it alone. Through my countless hours of research, i am torn. She is starting school soon and I want her self esteem to be amazing because she is an amazing girl. I don't want her other teeth to try to 'fill' the space and i know the loss of the front tooth may cause speech issues. My daughter speaks great now and i don't want that being hampered as she gets older? Can someone please tell me if the have allowed their child to get pedi partials and at what age and was it safe? Thank you so much.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful responses. As a mummy, i guess it is our job to overthink things. My daughter is amazing even without her front tooth. Hubby and i are still in discussions about the pedi partials but we won't put it unless we both agree to it. I have two pediatric dentists i will speak to countless more times before we make any decision and i will let all of you know what happens in a bit. Thank you again for all your help. Hugs xoxo

More Answers


answers from Boston on

Little kids don't care about other little kids missing teeth. Her self esteem will only suffer if you make a big deal out of it.

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answers from Dallas on

Don't worry, she'll be super cute anyway! As long as she feels loved, she probably doesn't even know what self esteem is. I think the worry about what we look like sets in as we get older. And probably by the time she's old enough to experience much bullying, the other kids will be losing teeth too. I would guess that if her speech is fine now with the missing tooth, it probably won't be too much of a detriment that way either. In fact, sometimes fake teeth can make a person sound funny.

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answers from Reading on

I know this post is several days old, but I needed to weigh in here anyway - partials put undue stress on the underlying bone structure, and they typically anchor on existing teeth. Someone who is an adult may need a partial for aesthetic and functional reasons, but they risk damage to neighboring teeth and bone erosion underneath. You have a child that is missing teeth during years when it's not uncommon or unsightly for children to miss teeth. I suppose if you want to preserve space for incoming teeth, a partial would help serve that function, but if it's only for eating or looks, I would absolutely decline. The risks outweigh the benefits.


answers from Boston on

I think she's way too young for you to worry about her self-esteem being affected by a missing tooth. If you look at other kids' school pictures, they all have missing teeth up through 3rd grade! None of them have speech issues as a result of this. Someone's always in a different stage of losing and gaining a tooth. I honestly don't think other kids notice it much, if at all. Did you see the story recently of the 2 boys who wanted to confuse their teacher by getting the same haircut so she couldn't tell them apart? It never dawned on them that a million features distinguished them, not the least of which was that one kid is black and the other kid is white.

And, we don't really want to teach our kids that their value and self-esteem is based on appearance, do we? Girls (in particular) get that kind of message from the rest of the world all the time, and we try to counter that at every turn, right?

A friend's child lost a tooth at preschool age due to an accident and he just waited it out for the new adult tooth to come in. No speech issues, no problems at all. Nothing grew to fill the space, and his permanent tooth grew in fine. And tons of kids need braces for a variety of reasons, and that's not a huge deal either. (It costs money, of course, but this tooth issue you're facing is not the only reason your child might need braces as a tween or teen. It might have no bearing on it whatsoever.

Whether your child should have this procedure or not is a question for you to resolve with the dentists/oral surgeons. If you still aren't sure, get a third opinion. Find a dentist you like and trust. But try not to let your vision of a perfect smile with perfect speech be the deciding factor. The more we give our kids positive values and role models based on how people act rather than how they look, the healthier our kids' self-esteem will be.

And you've probably figured out that researching stuff excessively on the internet can be more exhausting and alarming than it is helpful!



answers from Portland on

Mine did not - however, I'll share with our our experience.

One of mine did not get a baby tooth in the front - it just never came in. It did not affect her speech whatsoever. Nor did it affect how her adult teeth eventually came in.

My brother as a young boy had a run-in accident with another child. He lost his front teeth. The only sound he had trouble with was "th". He pronounced it like F. We're talking all his front teeth. My mom worked with him on his TH's and he was fine.

Not sure if that helps but I wouldn't worry too much about her self esteem. Kids don't really care about this stuff (at least mine did not) and no children ever commented about my child's missing tooth.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Our pediatric dentist filled teeth and capped a couple. Different kids. Our girl fell down a flight of concrete stairs and broke her top front tooth. The pediatric dentist simply capped it after fixing it.

Having an abscess is different. I had an abscessed tooth where my whole face swelled up, I looked like I had on a "Planet of The Apes" mask. I was so swollen so much that my lips and cheeks were even with my nose.

The doc drilled straight up in the back of the tooth to allow the pus to drain. Then he did a root canal and bonded the front of it. It continued to decay behind the bonding though. So it was not a healthy tooth. I got it pulled as an adult and had a partial that I use.

That infection killed that tooth more than likely so it has no purpose except to be there and fester.

I'd have it pulled. Other kids are going to be losing teeth soon too. She's old enough to start loosing her baby teeth anyway.

Just get it out and be done. No questions and no problems.

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