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Blocked permanent tooth

A collapsing bite

An ankylosed tooth

Ankylosis

What is ankylosis?

Primary teeth, also called baby teeth, are usually connected to the jaw bone by a ligament. Sometimes, the connection between tooth and ligament is lost, and the tooth fuses directly to the bone that surrounds it. This condition is known as ankylosis. It is a fairly common condition that occurs most often in the lower first primary molars.

Complications of ankylosis

Ankylosis may cause a number of problems. The fused tooth grows at a slower rate so that it appears to be submerged in the jaw when compared with other teeth. Upper teeth need the support of the lower teeth, so if a lower tooth is "submerged," the tooth above it may grow out of its socket and lose its normal alignment. Finally, and most critically, the roots of the fused tooth often fail to dissolve. If this normal dissolving process doesn't occur, the permanent tooth will be blocked, preventing it from growing in normally.

Removing the tooth

Eventually, the tooth that is ankylosed may need to be removed. This will allow the permanent tooth to come in unobstructed and prevent additional problems. We will work closely with you and your child to determine the best timing for removal of the affected tooth.