While the standard number of teeth is 20 for young children, or 32 for adults, there are instances when more than the usual number of teeth appear in the mouth. Hyperdontia refers to the condition of having extra teeth, referred to as “supernumerary” teeth. While hyperdontia is not common, affecting only about 2% of the population, it’s important to know what it is and what to do if it affects you or your children.
The cause of hyperdontia is unknown, but experts believe there may be a genetic connection. Having extra teeth can lead to future dental complications, including overcrowding and delaying other teeth coming in, or causing teeth to erupt through the gum in a crooked manner.
Extra teeth that remain inside the gum are usually only discovered when the dentist takes an x-ray of the mouth, unless they’ve already had an effect on normal teeth. If you have an extra tooth, your dentist may utilize a “wait and see” approach, and check on the tooth’s position at each regular checkup, or an extraction may be advised. In addition to delaying the eruption of permanent teeth, an extra tooth can make the area difficult to clean, and may affect the function and appearance of other teeth.
Extra teeth can occur anywhere inside the mouth, but the most common extra teeth are permanent anterior incisors in the upper arch, which are towards the front of the mouth and are highly visible. Other common extra teeth are the fourth molars in the lower arch, referred to as “wisdom teeth”.
Extra teeth should be detected, evaluated, and treated as soon as possible to prevent cosmetic and functional problems for the patient. Treatment involves a simple extraction of the extra teeth if they’re not on track to fall out on their own. For more information about extra teeth, please contact:
Webster Cosmetic Dentistry, Ltd.
1121 Warren Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515
Ph: (630) 663-0554