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What is Hypodontia?

Dentist in Mission Viejo Discusses Hypodontia


Hypodontia is the term used to explain a mouth that doesn’t develop a full set of adult teeth. Some people believe that this condition is occurring more frequently than before. Whatever the case, modern technology makes it easier to deal with.


What Causes Hypodontia?

Hypodontia goes by several names including dental agenesis. It simply means that a person’s teeth never fully developed. While there have been many ideas as to what causes it, one of the most common theories is that it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

It could be that certain genes within the body play a role in the lack of development. It is also possible that it’s related to infections, trauma or drug use as well.


Which Teeth Are Missing Most Often?

Whether we understand the causes or not, it is still clear that certain teeth seem to be missing more than others. The most common of these is the wisdom teeth. Some populations claim to have almost 40-percent of people that are missing at least one of these third molars.

In North America, the amount of people missing at least one of their teeth, without counting the third molars, is eight percent.



There are several treatment options for hypodontia. Not that long ago, the most common way to treat hypodontia was with the use of orthodontics. This closed the gap when teeth didn’t develop. This worked well when it was a premolar that was missing but wasn’t ideal for lateral incisors because of their unique shape.

Now, we have some more options. Using a dental bridge over a short-term period is possible. To continue with this option long-term could lead to atrophy of the jawbone which leads to gaps underneath the bridge.

The best option when dealing with hypodontia is with the use of dental implants. These are designed to work exceptionally well for missing lateral incisors.

If you find yourself missing a tooth, speak to your dentist in Misson Viejo about the options available to you. Whether you go with a bridge, orthodontics or an implant, it is possible for you to create a beautiful and healthy smile. Dentist4U can be reached at (949) 455-9480, we look forward to hearing from you!

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