Congenitally missing teeth, or hypodontia, is a condition where one or more teeth fail to develop in a person's mouth and are missing altogether. While it can occur with baby teeth, it more commonly involves the permanent teeth.
While environmental factors can influence the failure of teeth to develop, studies show the primary cause of congenitally missing teeth is genetic and related to an inherited trait.
Common congenitally missing teeth are the wisdom teeth and lower premolars; however, the upper lateral incisors are also frequently affected by this condition and may cause more extensive complications for patients.
Missing lateral teeth can negatively affect both function and esthetics of the mouth- causing bite misalignment, drifting of the neighboring teeth, speech issues, damage to the gum tissue or even insufficient bone growth. In addition, visibly missing teeth often result in a less attractive smile that can affect a person's self-confidence.
There are several options to re-position and potentially replace congenitally missing teeth. Your doctor will work with you to assess your unique situation and develop a solution that best restores the appearance and function of your teeth.
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