What Is Hypodontia?

When we think of missing teeth, we often think of tooth loss due to factors such as poor dental hygiene, disease, activities such as smoking and injuries to the mouth and gums. However, up to 20% of adults are missing at least one tooth due to hypodontia, or congenitally missing teeth, and some are missing more. Hypodontia is caused by genetic factors, and is also associated with syndromes such as Down’s. Most congenitally missing teeth are wisdom teeth, while a much smaller percentage include second premolars, upper lateral incisors and lower central incisors. Since most wisdom teeth are removed, having missing wisdom teeth due to hypodontia doesn’t require further treatment, but the smaller percentage of teenagers and adults who are missing other teeth due to this condition may want to pursue a semi-permanent to permanent solution.

Dental Implants As A Solution

The options available for replacing missing teeth due to hypodontia are no different than the ones available to patients suffering from tooth loss due to other reasons and factors. The optimal solution for replacing congenitally missing teeth is also the most permanent: dental implants, which are artificial teeth anchored directly to the jawbone. Implants are just as good as real teeth, and in some ways they are better – implants do not develop cavities and do not require the removal of material from healthy teeth or gums to implant. Dental implant recipients must be in good health, and there may be other reasons why a patient is unsuitable for them. Other, less permanent options for replacing congenitally missing teeth include bridges and removable partial dentures.