Congenitally missing teeth (CMT), also known as hypodontia, is one of the most prevalent dental anomalies.
Congenitally missing teeth is more common in permanent teeth. Less than 1% of children will have a congenitally missing baby tooth, and for those who do, it’s likely there isn’t a permanent tooth developing in the gums underneath it, either. In most cases of congenitally missing teeth, there will only be one or two teeth missing rather than multiple teeth.
The most commonly missing teeth are the wisdom teeth, followed by second premolars, upper lateral incisors, and lower central incisors.
Most cases of congenitally missing teeth are an inherited trait. Environmental factors that affect tooth development can potentially play a role in missing teeth. Examples of environmental factors include injuries to the site, surgical procedures and extraction of the preceding baby tooth.
Missing teeth is most commonly presented as spacing or gaps between teeth. The dental alignment will appear asymmetrical if the gap is only present on one side and not the other.
Change of bite
The bite can be changed if teeth adjacent to the spaces are shifting towards the space. This may lead to unevenness in your bite.
Sometimes, the treatment for missing teeth is as straightforward as replacing the missing tooth/teeth with dental prostheses, such as implants. However, in most individuals with missing teeth, the gaps are not evenly distributed, hence, orthodontic treatment is a required to redistribute the space for a dental prosthesis.
In carefully selected cases, the space may be closed with orthodontic treatment. The benefit of this option is that prosthesis, and, its long-term maintenance costs, will not be needed.
If the baby tooth is still present and has fairly strong and long roots, it may be left in place for as long as possible.
Are you suffering from this condition? See one of our specialist orthodontists for an assessment.