Hypodontia is a developmental oral health condition. If you are born with lesser teeth than an average person, you have hypodontia. It is also commonly known as congenitally missing teeth (CMT). It affects both baby and permanent teeth. The most common congenitally missing teeth are second premolars, wisdom teeth, and upper lateral incisors.
In this article, we will explain the causes and treatment of hypodontia.
Causes of Hypodontia
Any abnormality in the dental lamina is often the reason for CMT. The dental lamina is a band of epithelial tissue which is responsible for forming two dental arches. Your enamel organs search for the space for new teeth within these arches. But in some cases, the dental lamina gets missing due to genetic reasons. Thus new teeth which should ideally be grown between the arches can’t sprout.
Following are the other common factors that lead to congenitally missing teeth:-
- Hormonal Conditions
- Gum Disease/ Gingivitis
- Advanced Maternal Age
- Maternal Smoking
- Low Birth Weight
- Other Environmental Conditions
Treatment for Hypodontia
Experienced orthodontists can treat CMT with multiple types of treatments at a time. For example, they might apply braces to correct the spacing and alignment. Or, they replace the missing teeth with the help of prosthetics like bridges and dental implants. Orthodontists decide on suitable treatments depending on the patient’s condition.
- Braces & Invisalign
- Removable Partial Dentures
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Implants
Minor condition of hypodontia teeth can be treated with orthodontic treatments such as traditional braces and Invisalign. These treatments can reduce the marginal gap between the teeth. But braces and clear aligners can’t treat cases of significant and multiple gaps in the teeth. Reason being that the remaining teeth can’t cover those many gaps.
Dentures can replace the missing teeth in your mouth. So you can chew and speak in a much better way due to partial dentures. It also improves your dental appearance enhancing your overall facial features. But dentures need a considerable level of care and maintenance. And you might need to find another permanent solution in the long term for hypodontia.
This can be one of the permanent solutions for hypodontia teeth. The dental bridge makes a bridge between your intact teeth to fill the gap of the missing teeth. They are fixed on the teeth that are on either side of the gap. It is a complicated process. The orthodontist needs to downsize the adjoining teeth also with a drill to set the bridge.
Implants are a permanent and least damaging way for the treatment of hypodontia. A metal bone is posted above the gap to hold the implanted tooth. But these implanted teeth only replace the congenitally missing teeth. It doesn’t affect the adjoining teeth like the bridge. It can be done only for people more than 18 years of age.
Congenitally missing teeth is a common condition. But it is perfectly curable if you approach a good and experienced health care professional.
Contact Thurman Orthodontics now to clear all your doubts regarding hypodontia and your dental consultation with our expert dentists and orthodontists.
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.