2 Things To Know About Congenitally Missing Teeth

When you find out that your child is congenitally missing a permanent tooth, you should not be over-surprised, because according to Patient Connection, approximately 20 percent of adults are congenitally missing at least one permanent tooth. A pediatric dentist will be able to determine this when your child is around the age of 10 or 12, and here are two things you may want to know about this condition.

What is congenitally missing teeth?

Congenitally missing teeth is a condition that refers to a lack of permanent teeth, and the medical term for this condition is called hypodontia. When the primary teeth begin falling out of a child's mouth, permanent teeth will usually begin erupting shortly afterwards, unless the teeth are congenitally missing. A congenitally missing tooth means that the tooth is not there and never will be.

Some people are missing just one permanent tooth, while others may be missing multiple teeth. The cause is usually due to hereditary reasons, because parents can pass this trait on to their kids if they have this problem.

How is this problem treated?

Treating congenitally missing teeth is something that can be handled in numerous ways, including:

  • Doing nothing – In some cases, a baby tooth will stay in place for a person's entire life, because this baby tooth has nothing pressing against it to push it out. The child would need to take extra good care of the tooth in this situation to ensure that it lasts a lifetime.
  • Tooth replacement – Depending on the location of the missing tooth and the number of missing teeth, a pediatric dentist may recommend replacing the teeth that are missing. This can be accomplished through dental bridges or implants.
  • Orthodontics – A third option is to skip replacing the missing tooth and use orthodontics to fill in the gap. This option can work well in many cases, but it will take time. An orthodontist will have to install braces on the child's teeth and work them in a way that causes the teeth to shift to fill in the gaps.

Treatment for this condition really does not need to happen until the baby tooth comes out, and even then you may be able to wait a few years before deciding what to do about it.

If you would like to learn more about congenitally missing teeth and the treatment options for this condition, make an appointment with a dentist at a practice like North Phoenix Pediatric Dentistry.