Hypodontia is the dental term given to congenitally missing teeth. This may mean that a person is born without one or more baby teeth, or even adult teeth.
When it affects baby teeth alone then very little treatment is actually needed since ultimately, adult teeth may well erupt into these spaces. However, when hypodontia affects the adult teeth it can have a detrimental effect for the patient’s overall dental health, cosmetic appearance of their smile and also their dental function.
Hypodontia affects approximately 2% of the adult population.
Successful treatment of hypodontia is based on strategic treatment that is carefully planned and timed to ensure the best long term outcomes for each patient.
Being born without adult teeth can significantly affect a person’s confidence in their smile. It can also affect the stability of neighbouring teeth which can result in more severe dental problems if left untreated.
In the 2 cases below we have treated hypodontia to fully restore the patient’s mouth. Case 1 shows a young girl who had absent upper lateral incisors which were replaced with fixed permanent dental implants to fully restore her smile and provide long term stability to the adjacent teeth. The replacement teeth were designed carefully to ensure that they matched the adjacent natural teeth in every way possible. For any patient, especially one that is born with missing teeth, this is truly life changing.
In case 2 this patient is affected by a missing upper right adult canine tooth. Instead, she retained her baby canine tooth much longer than usual, the baby tooth was still there at the age of 32. This tooth was becoming very loose and worn. Over the years, since the tooth was much smaller than the adult version of this tooth, the other teeth had moved and become crowded – resulting in the overal dental crowding that can be seen in this case. Our strategy for treating this patient was to re-align her teeth to ensure they were straighter and more even in appearance. This also enabled us to open the space in the canine region so that a more suitably sized canine tooth can be used to replace the failing baby tooth. The orthodontic treatment was followed by a fixed dental implant being fitted in the upper right canine region to provide an aesthetic and long lasting smile.
In both of these cases hypodontia has affected the patients in differing ways. Hypodontia can affect any tooth in the mouth with some teeth being more commonly affected than others. The effect of hypodontia on one’s childhood confidence can be significant and we aim to help patient’s from childhood thorugh to adulthood to help them manage hypodontia in a way that helps them maintain a good quality of life throughout.
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