Congenitally Missing Teeth

Do you have an older child with a missing permanent tooth, or who has never developed one or more of his or her adult teeth? This can often be stressful and upsetting because treatment may not be as simple as replacing a permanent tooth. Here at Waller Dental, we understand how frustrating oral issues can be for you, and we want to do all we can to bring you at ease.

Let’s take a look at the reasons behind missing permanent teeth, and what we can do about it.

Congenitally Missing Teeth

Most people develop a complete set of thirty-two permanent teeth. If any of these teeth fail to fully develop, it will generally be considered a case of hypodontia or congenitally missing teeth.

What could cause hypodontia?

Hypodontia can result from problems with the dental lamina. Dental lamina is a band of tissue underneath the gums where the tooth forms. Several genetic factors can result in the dental lamina failing to form. The factors can be a mutation of any one of three specific genes having a significant role in teeth development. If a mutation occurs plus the dental lamina is missing, then most probably, the corresponding tooth will also not form.


Because of various reasons for a missing permanent tooth, the best way for dentists to figure out what is happening is a thorough set of dental x-rays. When a permanent tooth is missing, there are three available options:

  • replace the missing tooth
  • preserve the baby tooth
  • orthodontically close the space

These methods are not always interchangeable. The treatment plan for any patient will be based on the condition of the teeth and some other variables.

If your child is missing a permanent tooth, the most appropriate treatment can be ascertained by a qualified dentist.

To schedule an appointment with Waller Dental, call at 936-372-2673.

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