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I feel you. My dd had her two front teeth extracted at age 2 1/2. We waited 8 months for her molars to be in far enough to attach the partial. In this time, her speech was affected, granted it was two teeth, not just one. Her enunciation was slurred and her tongue overcompensating. Within a week of having the partial in place, her speech became so much clearer.
I missed her sweet smile so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Her self esteem did not seem affected at this time and reactions were minimal.
However, about a month and a half ago, one of the teeth on the partial broke off and they removed the whole partial for repair and it took a month before she had it again. During this time, now age 4 1/2, she was very self conscious about it. She often had her fingers in her mouth, which she never had habit of before this time. And once when we were going on a tour of her new kindergarten school where she will be attending, she wondered aloud if anyone was going to notice? And at this age, many people did notice and ask her about them......They don't tease her, but they notice and ask and she realizes her difference. I was so relieved when she got the partial back and she kept saying how happy she was to have her new teeth.
I made it a point, when talking with her or when people asked about her teeth.....to talk about her teeth and partial in an upbeat manner, so that she didn't feel there was something wrong with her, but that it just was what it was......

So given our experience...I would highly suggest a partial. While some kids lose their teeth early, many kids don't lose their two top front teeth until 6 or 6 1/2. Her dentist will remove the partial when the adult teeth are ready to emerge.
HTH!
 
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