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Congenitally Missing Teeth: What Treatments Are Available?

By Bruce Wilderman on December 15, 2016

A man smilingWhen you think of missing teeth, you usually think of older people who have experienced physical injury to their mouth or have lost their teeth due to tooth decay and gum disease. Yet there are some people who are missing teeth because of genetic issues. We've helped some patients in the Philadelphia area who've dealt with these problems, and have achieved some strong results.

By using advanced restorative dentistry techniques, we can improve the dental health of these patients, enhancing their smiles as well as their overall quality of life.

The Problems Caused by Missing Teeth

When you lose a tooth as a result of cavities and decay or injury, it can lead to a number of cosmetic issues and health problems. For one, you may be very self-conscious about laughing, smiling, and speaking, even around people you have known for years. In addition, the tooth loss can make eating certain foods difficult, and could lead to misalignment of your remaining teeth.

Why Congenitally Missing Teeth Make Matters More Difficult

These problems with tooth alignment become more serious if the teeth are missing from birth. There are immediate problems with poor dental alignment simply given the way the extant teeth affect the dental arch. Issues with malocclusion and poor smile aesthetics are a given since a child's teeth may seem misplaced or poorly spaced.

There are different kinds of conditions that result in congenitally missing teeth. Let's go through each of these and how they can be treated. Note: Wisdom teeth (third molars) are not tabulated in the number of teeth that are missing.

Hypodontia: Missing as Many as Five Teeth

Hypodontia refers to cases in which people are missing up to five teeth. This typically means missing upper lateral incisors, the lower second premolars, or the upper second premolars. When a child is missing certain primary teeth, they are 30% to 50% likely to be missing the corresponding permanent teeth.

Treatment Options for Hypodontia

When treating hypodontia, the best approach is typically a combination of orthodontic care early on to improve overall alignment. The use of a dental bridge or possibly dental implants later on can be considered to aid in improving overall smile aesthetics and dental wellness.

Oligodontia: Missing Six Teeth or More

Oligdontia refers to cases in which people are missing six of their teeth or more. It's been estimated that 1% of the general population suffers from this particular form of congenital lack of teeth.

Treatment Options for Oligodontia

As with hypodontia, the ideal approach for treating oligodontia is a combination of orthodontic and restorative treatment, and generally in that order.

Andodontia: Missing All of Your Teeth

Andodontia is an extremely rare condition in which a person is missing all of their primary or permanent teeth. Many cases of andodontia are the result of serious skin and nerve genetic conditions known as ectodermal dysplasia (ED).

Treatment Options for Andodontia

To address andodontia, dentists will often consider some form of denture to help create a set of teeth that look good and offer optimal function. Implant dentistry may also be considered for treatment in order to support any dental appliances that are placed.

Learn More About Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry

For more information about treating tooth loss and helping you smile with confidence, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. Our entire team will work with you to help improve your dental wellness.

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