Most children are born with 20 primary and 32 permanent teeth. But sometimes they are born with teeth that are additional to the normal series we all should have. These teeth are referred to as supernumerary teeth and the condition is known as hyperdontia.
Supernumerary teeth (hyperdontia) can be the result of problems such as cleidocranial dysostosis and labial palatal cleft. They also can be caused by Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Gardner's syndrome and Fabry-Anderson syndrome. It is unusual for patients to have multiple supernumerary teeth without also having some sort of syndrome.
Some dentists say that hyperdontia has been known to cause adverse effects for the normal dentition. The most frequent supernumerary tooth is a mesiodens. This tooth is poorly formed and peg-like in appearance, and often appears between the two upper front teeth.
In some cases, children may have fourth or fifth molars that develop behind the third molars as another type of supernumerary teeth.
The Importance of Hyperdontia Early Detection
Early detection of Hyperdontia can sometimes prevent and more often diminish the severity of future dental problems that require treatment. Studies show that a panoramic X-ray can determine if supernumerary teeth are present and once we know what problems we are dealing with, we can devise a plan for treatment. Detecting hyperdontia early also means the supernumerary teeth can be removed at an age-appropriate time.
Furthermore, removing these teeth too soon can be difficult for the child and the developing dentition, and removing them too late can result in damage to the crowns or roots of erupting teeth that we want to preserve, it must be timed well.
Treatment of Hyperdontia
Because there are cases in which a patient's adult teeth are unable to erupt properly, in those situations, dentists frequently find that removing the supernumerary tooth allows the permanent tooth to come in without any problems, she said. In other cases, it may take dental treatment to create enough room for the permanent tooth to erupt properly.
Treatment also could involve extraction, followed by dental treatment to create ideal alignment.
There are cases in which supernumerary teeth and permanent teeth have fused. Correcting this problem requires dental treatment of tooth pulp and tissues surrounding the root of a tooth. Removing the fused teeth surgically is necessary because of the tooth's abnormal width and structure, which can lead to crowding, alignment and occlusal function issues.