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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Missing adult teeth

03/04/2008

Question:

My daughter is almost 10 years old and for several years I have known that she was missing at least 4 permanent teeth. At the dentist the other day, I saw her x-ray with the dentist and she is missing at least 12 teeth. She doesn`t have any molars on the top right and the bottom left. She is missing two teeth on the top front next to the big two teeth and at least two on the bottom. What kind of suggestions do you have for us? We will be visiting the orthodontist in a few weeks to come up with a plan for her future (and our budget). Thanks for your prompt reply.

Answer:

First I would gather as much hereditary information as you can from both lines of your daughter's heritage. Remember when you start to move back more than one generation, people tend to not remember or don't want to admit that they may not have taken the best care of their own teeth. So information like, "I remember Grandmother always said she was missing several teeth," could be helpful. 

There are also certain genetic conditions which also have a history of missing teeth. One of these is Cleidocranial dysostosis, which has among other characteristics such things as not fully formed clavicles, thinning hair, and the like.

Does she have brothers and sisters and are they missing teeth?

So there is a lot you can of information you can gather before the first appointment. Missing teeth are often associated with slow eruption of teeth, and often there is a challenge for the orthodontist to treat the skeletal part first and perhaps have a resting period. Make sure that your appointment is with a board eligible orthodontist.

Sometimes there are birth defect programs that can even come into play, but it is harder to qualify today than ever because it is not considered a life threatening problem by carriers. If you need more information and give me a location and I can attempt to supply you with additional information.

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Children) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University