All parents want their children's adult teeth to develop in a straight and strong manner, but unfortunately, this does not always happen. When there is some minor malocclusion (which is fairly common), the issue can generally be treated with orthodontics. But when an individual tooth develops at a sharp angle, this is known as dilaceration and requires specific treatment.
There are certain risk factors for dilaceration, namely blunt force trauma before the permanent tooth actually erupts. This is when your child has had an accident that has resulted in a forceful smack to their jaw. Of course, you would have been aware of such an occurrence and would have sought the necessary treatment at the time. Dilaceration can happen when the accident has caused the tooth bud (holding the root structure for the tooth) to misalign, essentially making the tooth grow at an angle. Abnormal growths in the gum can also cause this type of misalignment, but these will generally be identified with an X-ray, which is often needed in order to determine the extent of any dilaceration.
Dilaceration doesn't usually become evident until the adult tooth has started to develop, and it might be your dentist who notices the problem during a checkup. Your child might also notice it themselves, complaining of difficulty when it comes to cleaning a specific tooth or even discomfort if the tooth is at an angle that causes it to rub against the interior of their cheek.
Although it might sound like a major issue, dilaceration is not particularly complicated, and a general dentist can offer a solution. After an X-ray has shed more light on the angle of the dilaceration, and whether the tooth will cause discomfort or difficulty once it has developed, your dentist will know the best way to proceed. With minor dilaceration, it might be that no action is needed, as the tooth will still function as normal. In other cases, the tooth might need to be extracted. It could conceivably be replaced at a later stage (utilising a dental implant), but this will need to wait until your child's other teeth (and their jaw) have grown to full size.
Dilaceration can be a source of annoyance for your child, but it's something that can be solved without too much difficulty. Reach out to a dental office near you to learn more about your treatment options.