What You Should Know About Hypodontia

When you have children, you want to be sure that they are as healthy as possible. However, there are some conditions that are genetic and that you cannot help. One of those conditions is known as hypodontia. If your child's dentist has informed you that your child has hypodontia, you may be confused and wondering what the diagnosis means.

Get to know some of the facts about hypodontia and how it can be treated and dealt with. Then, you can be sure that you are taking the best care of your child and their dental health going forward.

What Is Hypodontia?

The first thing you will want to know about hypodontia is what it entails. Hypodontia is a dental condition in which one or more of the permanent teeth do not develop or break through. Generally, you will not know your child has this condition until their baby teeth have fallen out and their adult teeth are emerging.

You may notice that there are large gaps between the teeth that do emerge and no signs of any other teeth coming in those spaces. This may be what sent you to the dentist, or you may have simply been bringing your child in for a routine checkup.

What Issues Can Hypodontia Cause?

Having gaps in the teeth may not seem like much of a problem. However, when there are teeth missing, the teeth that did emerge can shift out of position and may even be destabilized in the jawbone. Teeth will look aesthetically unpleasing and may even cause other conditions like an overbite.

What Can Be Done About Hypodontia?

One of the primary lines of defense against the issues caused by hypodontia is orthodontics. Orthodontic braces can help to stabilize the teeth that did grow in and keep them in proper position. This also leaves gaps in the right places for artificial replacement teeth to be placed. Generally orthodontic work will start in late childhood and early adolescence to avoid too much shifting of the permanent teeth. 

To start with, dental bridges are usually the best option to fill in the gaps where teeth are missing. The replacement teeth are attached to the teeth on either side of the gap. A good dental bridge can last for anywhere from 8 to 10 years.

If the structure of your child's jawbone is able to tolerate them, dental implants are also an option to replace teeth. These implants are actually installed into the jawbone, rather than attached to the surrounding teeth, and can last a great deal longer than dental bridges. They are also quite a bit more stable and act more like natural teeth. 

Now that you know more about hypodontia and the treatments available to help with the situation, you can be sure that you are getting your child the dental and orthodontic care that they need with their hypodontia.

For more information, talk to companies like Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics.