Having a healthy smile means taking great care of your teeth. It also means noting issues that can impact dental health and having them addressed by skilled professionals. There is so much that our Boston cosmetic dentistry and general dental care center can do for you.
Some patients may be missing a tooth, which is common. Other patients may actually have too many teeth. That is definitely not as common. This is a condition known as hyperdontia, which is what we want to explore today.
Hyperdontia is a condition in which a person has more teeth than normal. In the average person's mouth, there are 32 teeth total (which includes 4 wisdom teeth). Those experience hyperdontia have more than 32 teeth, sometimes many more. It's been estimated that between 1 percent and 4 percent of the population experience some degree of hyperdontia.
The most common causes of hyperdontia are hereditary factors and environmental factors. This means that there may be a genetic potential for developing an additional tooth or multiple additional teeth. As far as environmental factors are concerns, this simply means that exposure to certain kinds of chemicals or substances while developing in the womb may trigger the development of additional teeth later in life.
The extra teeth are known as supernumerary teeth. Supernumerary teeth can grow anywhere, the most common additional teeth tend to be anterior incisors located in the upper dental arch. Additional fourth molars on the lower dental arch are the second most common kinds of supernumerary teeth.
There are a few different types of extra teeth that may grow based on their shape and position in the mouth:
Not all supernumerary teeth emerge. Sometimes they remain in place along the dental arch and can only be detected through x-rays. These hidden supernumerary teeth can impede the emergence of your permanent teeth and can also affect your overall dental alignment.
There are two primary means of dealing with hyperdontia. Typically an oral surgery is performed to remove the additional tooth followed by orthodontic care when necessary to improve the alignment of the patient's remaining teeth. Generally this is better to carry out earlier in life since orthodontic care is easier before a person reaches adulthood. Similarly, catching and treating a problem soon means greater likelihood of preventing various dental health issues later in life.
During a consultation at our practice, we can discuss various treatment options with you in more detail. We will develop a treatment plan that helps you have the healthiest smile possible.
For more information about your many different dental care options, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Dental Associates of New England will work closely with you to enhance the overall health and appearance of your smile.