Hyperdontia, simply put, is extra teeth — more than a full set. The condition is normally first recognized in childhood, once baby teeth fall out and adult teeth begin to emerge.
By the time children are 36 months old, they should have 20 primary teeth. By the time they are 12 years old, all of these 20 should have fallen out, to be replaced by 32 permanent teeth, which should develop completely by age 21. When a child has more than 20 primary teeth or more than 32 permanent teeth, dentists call the condition hyperdontia.
What Causes It?
While the exact cause of the condition is unknown, most dental professionals believe genetic components are involved, as hyperdontia is more common in children whose parents or other relations also had it. Also, hyperdontia can be more common in children who have other conditions such as cleft lip, cleft palate or Gardner syndrome.
In most cases, children with hyperdontia have only one extra tooth. In rare cases, extra teeth may develop behind or in front of permanent teeth or along the roof of the mouth. Overall, hyperdontia affects only between 1 and 4 percent of the U.S. population.
Obtaining a Professional Diagnosis
Your child should begin regularly seeing a dentist by the age of 1 in order to spot and treat conditions such as hyperdontia early. Dentists can monitor development of the extra teeth, called the supernumerary teeth, to try to make sure they do not cause issues as the other permanent teeth develop.
Whether your child regularly visits the dentist at this time or not, call and make an appointment with a professional as soon as you notice any irregular tooth development at any stage in their lives.
Treatment Options for Your Child
After the initial diagnosis, dentists will keep a close watch on the supernumerary teeth. In many cases, the teeth never actually erupt. Digital X-rays are usually taken to show the positioning of the teeth in question, and most professionals recommend removing them before they begin to cause hygienic and developmental issues for your child.
If the supernumerary tooth belongs to the primary set, your dentist may suggest leaving it in place and allowing it to fall out on its own, as long as it is not interfering with your child’s normal oral care routine.
Hyperdontia must be diagnosed and treated by a dental professional, so don’t wait — call Oak Hills Dentistry today to set up a consultation so your children can receive the care they need.