Hypodontia is a dental condition wherein a patient has missing teeth as a result of tooth agenesis, or the failure of those teeth to develop. It is the reverse of tooth loss, and the opposite of hyperdontia, in which the patient has more than the usual number of teeth. The extent of the condition may range from missing wisdom teeth to six or more missing teeth.
Hypodontia may be a result of certain genetic syndromes, such as Down syndrome and ectodermal dysplasia, or can be seen in people with craniofacial anomalies such as cleft lip and palate. Other possible causes include hormonal defects and exposure to radiation. Given the complex nature of the condition, a multidisciplinary approach in managing and treating hypodontia is essential.
Restorative Management of Hypodontia
Most hypodontia cases are among patients with craniofacial abnormalities. Since the management and treatment of craniofacial anomalies follow a multidisciplinary approach, the same thing goes with the restorative management of hypodontia. The process should also begin in the early years of the patient’s dentition and continues up to maintaining the remaining teeth.
The restorative management team involves a paediatric dentist in the early years, a specialist orthodontist and a consultant in restorative dentistry. Other than restorative treatment, maintaining the remaining teeth is an equally essential aspect of managing hypodontia.
Restorative Procedure Options
Oral rehabilitation of hypodontia may involve subsequent positioning of teeth and replacement with prosthodontic methods, such as resin-retained bridge and implants or veneers, crown and composite resin for misshaped teeth.
Today, guided bone regeneration for dental implants is the most widely accepted procedure to treat hypodontia, according to Moor Park Specialist Dental Centre. The use of insoluble bone grafting materials makes the process effective and economical in the long term, as it no longer requires several procedures.
A big part of the restorative management of hypodontia is to lessen the associated effects of the condition towards the patient’s health. Maintaining the remaining teeth is also essential, as the congenital absence of more teeth can affect permanent teeth. The condition can also affect the person’s physical and emotional state, which is why the diagnoses and treatment process should start as early as possible.