Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Case Of The Missing Teeth

Rachel has taken it easy this afternoon sitting on the couch watching her favorite movies.  I even let her have the little DVD player so that she can go forward or backward as she pleases.....which she 'pleases' A LOT!  But I figured it was the least I could do since she is recovering from having two teeth pulled this morning. 

Ouch!  She is a real trooper about it all. She does very well for the dentist and doesn't complain as the anesthesia wears off.  She still won't smile for the camera for me!

Rachel was referred to the orthodontist over the summer to see about a palate expander as she has a very small mouth and very crowded teeth.  Her dentist was not totally comfortable trying to do an expander for Rachel.  Turns out the orthodontist was not too comfortable doing it either and referred us to another pediatric dentist.  This dentist did some of her residency with children with special needs and seems quite comfortable working with Rachel. 
We went last week and had xrays done.  This was the first time that Rachel ever attempted to do the bite wing xrays and the first time she had a successful panoramic xray.  She usually moves at some point and makes areas of the xray pretty blurry.  She is definitely getting better at following directions, and she stood very still for the whole procedure.  Not sure we could have gotten her to stand still for another, but one was all we needed.  The panoramic xray showed that Rachel is missing five adult teeth.  I have had them tell me three times which ones they are, but I still cannot remember, LOL!  I do know that two are on top and three are on bottom.  I knew that missing teeth is common in the Down syndrome population, but I was surprised to hear that she is missing so many!  It works well for her, though, because it means that she will not need the palate expander after all! 
Even though Rachel will not have to have the palate expander, the dentist did think that some baby teeth needed to come out now, to allow her two front teeth to move forward, so we went today and had the two teeth pulled.  Six months from now the dentist is planning on pulling two teeth on the bottom.       


  1. I have read the entire blog which contains valuable information. Good news is that she does not need to have palate expander because doctor will pulled out the front upper teeth which will allow her front teeth to move forward. I have heard that all on 4 implant process can bring your lost smile back. I will eagerly look forward for more updates from you.

  2. Looks like a lot of pain, but then, she still managed to calm down. Such a brave girl! I’m glad you found the right dentist for her. And yeah, missing teeth is a very common case among children with special needs. So, make sure to visit the dentist regularly as her teeth are sensitive. Paying attention to your kid’s teeth makes you a great and responsible mom. Enjoy the parenthood. :)

    Gunilla Cameron

  3. We proceeded with an operation such as this with my younger sister, who has Down syndrome, and were particularly disappointed. Removing the suggested teeth was a traumatic experience for her and left her palate with a much more narrow appearance than before. At 18, the portion of her mouth where teeth were not removed looks healthy and wide.

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