Ankylosis, in dentistry, refers to a tooth, usually a primary (baby) tooth, that is fused directly to the bone and is not lost when it should come out to allow eruption of the permanent tooth that is supposed to replace it.  If the anklyosed primary tooth is not removed, its retention can impede the eruption of its permanent counterpart, causing that tooth to become impacted, which means it will remain buried in the bone after its root growth is completed.

An ankylosed primary tooth will often feel differently than the other teeth around it, and because its fusion to bone prevents its full eruption, it will frequently appear shorter than the teeth around it as they continue to erupt.

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