In previous blog posts we have discussed various reasons for visiting an orthodontist as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) no later than the age of 7. Which brings us to today’s blog topic…all you wanted to know about missing teeth and more but didn’t know what to ask. Our discussion will be limited to teeth that are missing not as a result of them being removed or lost due to disease or from an accident but rather as a result of never having developed. This condition know as Hypodontia (missing one to six teeth) is characterized by a primary tooth having no replacement by a permanent tooth. There is a genetic tendency for this condition to occur and the technical description is congenital absence of permanent teeth.
A bit of background, excluding wisdom teeth(3rd molars), Hypodontia occurs in 3-8% of the population. The most common missing tooth is the wisdom tooth followed by congenital absence of the lower 2nd premolars. The upper lateral incisors, which are the teeth on either side of the two centered upper front teeth, are the third most commonly missing tooth and occurs in approximately 2% of the population. This may affect one or both upper lateral incisor teeth.