Windsor Centre For Advanced Dentistry

What is hypodontia?

Missing permanent teeth can cause a plethora of aesthetic and functional problems for someone’s mouth and smile. But while some missing teeth are lost due to gum disease, impacts or accidents, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, experiencing missing teeth is completely unavoidable – hypodontia is one such case.

But what exactly is hypodontia, why can it be such a serious issue, and what steps can be taken to stop it developing into an even bigger issue later down the line?

At The Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry, we’re experts in the world of dental treatments (including orthodontic treatment) and our vast experience has seen our team deal with some of the rarest and most challenging dental conditions – including hypodontia.

If you know someone dealing with hypodontia, or if you’re suffering from it yourself, and you want to know who can offer a solution, our world-class team of professional dental technicians are here to help. So get in touch with the team today to find out more.

With this in mind, let’s look at hypodontia a little more closely…

Hypodontia definition

When babies are born, it takes time for their baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) and eventually their adult teeth to appear, which is why you wouldn’t think twice about looking at your newborn baby’s mouth and seeing no teeth coming through yet.

However, the more they grow and the more their baby teeth and permanent teeth begin to come in, it becomes easier to notice if something isn’t quite right in their tooth development. Specifically, one or a set of teeth may simply fail to sprout up from the gums. This is hypodontia. It may also be referred to as selective tooth agenesis, however, this is slightly different; tooth agenesis is usually used to categorise one or more teeth that are missing, while hypodontia usually refers to 6 or more teeth missing (not including wisdom teeth).

Most teeth can be affected by hypodontia. However, some of the most commonly missing teeth include the upper lateral incisors – AKA the teeth that sit at either side of your two front teeth. Given their prominent positioning in the smile, it is understandable why so many people would be concerned about losing these teeth and would want to seek a solution.

Being born with congenitally missing teeth may sound like a rare condition, but it’s more common than you think. According to the NHS, up to 5% of the UK population are born suffering from hypodontia and similar dental development issues, making it one of the most common ‘deformities’ someone can be born with.

This also means there’s a strong chance you already know someone who was born without a full set of teeth. If you’ve found this article after some research, you may even suffer from it yourself, and you may want to know if there’s anything to be done about it. Don’t worry, we’re here to help (more on this in a moment).

As you can imagine, being born without teeth can cause multiple problems, both in the way the mouth operates and the way we view ourselves. Faults with chewing, speaking and jaw movements can develop, while the mental toll of missing some of the more visually prominent teeth can be devastating.

Causes of hypodontia

Hypodontia is caused by genetic anomalies that are out of anyone’s control, most often problems with the dental lamina (the layer of tissue just beneath the gums). So if you’re born with the genes that result in hypodontia, there’s little you can do about it until later in life.

However, in rare instances, hypodontia can be inflicted upon babies and small children who’ve suffered from unexpected impacts to the mouth, gums or jaw region, as well as mouth infections which can upset the natural balance of the mouth and prevent new teeth from coming through as expected.

In either case, whether genetic or environmental, if you’re suffering from hypodontia, there are options on the table to solve the problem and give you the smile you’ve always deserved.

Treatments for hypodontia

If you’re a parent, catching hypodontia in your child early is essential in creating a plan of action with your dentist on how to deal with the condition. But if you’re an adult dealing with hypodontia, the process may be a little easier for you, depending on the severity of your condition.

In either scenario, you should book an appointment with a trained, qualified dentist with experience in dealing with hypodontia – like the team at The Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry – who will be able to definitively diagnose the condition.

From here, through the use of in-depth X-rays and special analysis techniques, your dentist will be able to offer the best solution to match your precise predicament. These may include:

Removable dentures

Removable dentures, as you may be aware, are also known as ‘false teeth’. They’re a set of prosthetic teeth designed to fit the mouth as acutely as possible, covering gaps created by one or multiple missing teeth with fake ones. This creates the illusion of a full and bright smile.

Impressions and moulds of the mouth may be taken to offer a set of removable dentures that fit the patient’s mouth perfectly, with no discomfort whatsoever. A non-invasive solution, removable dentures remain a hugely popular choice for those seeking to draw attention away from their missing teeth.

Fixed bridges

Another non-invasive option, fixed bridges are designed to hide the presence of a missing tooth by ‘bridging’ the gap a missing tooth has created with a false tooth that is held in place with dental adhesive.

Using the opposing teeth across the gap to hold the false tooth in place – much like a bridge – fixed bridges are often made of porcelain or metal and are carefully designed and coloured to match your existing teeth. Once in place, it’s rare that anyone is able to spot the difference! This can help those dealing with hypodontia enjoy greater confidence in their smile while also helping to solve any functionality issues that may have arisen due to missing teeth.

Dental implants

A likely option for those seeking to replace large rows of missing teeth, dental implants offer a strong, stable and long-lasting solution to hypodontia.

Dental implants involve the surgical insertion of fixation screws directly into the gums, allowing for abutments and artificial tooth crowns to be screwed into place. Think of it as drilling a new hole for a screw while you’re building something, it’s the same principle.

Often made from titanium, dental implants hold the abutments and artificial teeth firmly in place, offering relief from large quantities of missing teeth on a bigger scale than other treatments. The inserts are made from titanium which doesn’t corrode or degrade in the body, making for a long-lasting solution that could still be working well decades later, with the right care.

Want to know more about hypodontia? Speak to the experts at The Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry

If you or your little one is dealing with hypodontia, the team at The Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry are who you need to speak to.

With a strong focus on managing and solving severe dental issues, such as missing teeth, the Windsor team are ready and waiting to help give you back the smile of your dreams, or help you build a smile you can be proud of for the first time.

With decades of combined experience, world-renowned dental experts and access to the latest in dental technology, you’ll be in the safest of hands at our practice and we always strive to deliver the most relaxed yet professional service available in dentistry anywhere in the world.

To start your journey towards the perfect smile, get in touch with us at the link below today or book an appointment if you’re ready to get the ball rolling.



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