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Congenital Tooth Abnormalities

Posted in Dental Implants

Congenital tooth abnormalities are abnormalities of tooth development inherited at birth. They occur when genetic factors affect the formation, eruption, color, shape, number, or size of a person’s teeth. Congenital tooth abnormalities typically have a marked effect on a person‘s oral and overall health and often require extensive dental intervention from an early age. Here are some of the most common congenital tooth defects.


People with this condition fail to develop any teeth at all. The absence of teeth contributes to a number of challenges such as chewing dysfunction, early gum disease, jaw bone loss, speech impairment, and psychological issues. The recommended course of action for treating anodontia is full-mouth dental implants to restore tooth functioning.


Hyperdontia is characterized by the presence of extra teeth. Individuals with this condition develop more than the standard 20 primary teeth or 32 permanent teeth. Often, there is not enough space for all the teeth, resulting in a crowded mouth and crooked, fused, or misshapen teeth. Hyperdontia can cause many complications including functional impairment, impacted teeth, misaligned bite, and aesthetic issues. Treatment may include tooth extraction, orthodontic treatment, and cosmetic dental procedures to improve appearance.


Individuals whose teeth develop to an abnormally large size have an inheritable condition called macrodontia.  Macrodontia may be generalized, i.e., affecting all of the teeth, or localized, affecting a single tooth or a few. Macrodontia can cause crowding, fused teeth, mastication problems, malalignment of the teeth, and maxillofacial issues (jaw and facial join disorders). Treatment usually includes dental contouring to alter the length of the teeth and dental stripping. Tooth extraction and replacement with implants may also be necessary.

Dentinogenesis imperfecta

This condition is characterized by discolored teeth. The discoloration is caused by abnormal development of the dentin layer of the teeth which causes the teeth to appear yellow-brown or grayish-blue.  The teeth are also fragile making them more likely to fracture, erode, and even drop out. Treatment focuses on reducing wear and enamel loss through full crown restoration. Dental bonding may also be used to whiten the teeth and to repair gaps and cracks. Bleaching is another treatment option for whitening the teeth. In cases of severe tooth attrition, it may be necessary to extract all the teeth and replace with dentures.

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