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Causes and Treatments of Dental Agenesis

Some teeth never develop: this anomaly is called agenesis and affects between 1 and 3% of the population. It is characterized by the absence of one or more teeth and can cause aesthetic concerns, but also certain functional problems.

The Centre Dentaire & D’Implantologie Boucherville, your South Shore dentist, explains what can cause this dental condition and lists the possible treatments.

What Is Agenesis?

First of all, you should know that agenesis can affect baby teeth or permanent teeth. A child who develops all of his or her baby teeth could very well be missing teeth later on.

In fact, sometimes baby teeth are slow to fall out because they are not pushed out by the permanent teeth. Some people will keep baby teeth until adulthood. In other cases, the tooth will fall out and not be replaced.

In general, regular follow-ups with the dentist allow for early detection of this anomaly. In addition to the visual examination that allows for the identification of a missing tooth, x-rays allow for the identification of a permanent tooth that is not developing.

There are three types of agenesis:

  • Hypodontia (point agenesis), which affects 1 to 6 teeth. This is the most common type of agenesis;
  • Oligodontia (multiple agenesis), which involves more than 6 teeth on an arch;
  • Anodontia, which is a complete absence of teeth.

Causes of Agenesis

Agenesis may be caused by hereditary factors, as there may be several cases in the same family.

However, some people are also predisposed to it because of chromosomal or systemic disorders, for example:

  • Cleft lip
  • Down syndrome
  • Van der Woude syndrome
  • Ectodermal dysplasia

In general, syndromes that affect the development of various tissues are likely to affect the development of teeth as well.

An infectious disease during pregnancy can also have this type of effect on the unborn child, as can the use of certain medications or exposure to certain types of radiation.

Treating Agenesis

Even with an early diagnosis, there is no way to grow a tooth that does not develop naturally. However, dental professionals will be able to manage the abnormality and offer a customized treatment plan.

The treatment will depend on the stage of development of the teeth and therefore the age of the patient, as well as the number of missing teeth and their location. Most of the time, it will be a multidisciplinary approach between:

  • Orthodontics
  • Implantology
  • Prosthesis fitting
  • Dentistry

Often, the absence of one or more teeth will result in the displacement of other teeth, which will partially fill the space. In these cases, orthodontics can close a gap or make room for a replacement by correcting the alignment.

When the baby tooth does not fall out, it is generally recommended to wait until it does before attempting to replace it. As for replacement solutions, there are two options: implantology or the placement of a removable or fixed prosthesis. Dental health professionals can help you make the best choice of treatment.

Especially when several teeth are missing, agenesis can have numerous unfortunate consequences. In addition to alignment problems, the absence of some teeth could even lead to bone loss, which is not stimulated by chewing. Several disorders can occur:

  • Masticatory disorders
  • Swallowing disorders
  • By extension, digestive disorders
  • Speech disorders and language delays

Of course, both children and adults can be psychologically affected by the aesthetic appearance of missing teeth, even if it is only one tooth. In many cases, treatment of agenesis is necessary for a variety of reasons. If you suspect that your child has agenesis, or if you wish to remedy your own, contact your dentist.

An Experienced Team in Boucherville

At the Centre Dentaire & D’implantologie Boucherville, you can count on the expertise of dental health professionals with different specializations. Our office includes a dentist who specializes in implantology, and we can perform certain orthodontic treatments.

Whatever your concerns about your oral health, you can count on an attentive and expert team to take care of them. For agenesis or any other problem, do not hesitate to contact us!

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