What is Hypodontia?

What is Hypodontia

Hypodontia is an inherited condition characterised by developmentally missing teeth, without taking the absent third molars into account. In the case where there are six or more missing permanent teeth, the condition is called Oligodontia.

Hypodontia, oligodontia and anodontia are terms that can be interpreted to refer to progressive degrees of missing teeth, though the term hypodontia is preferred because it is inclusive of any number of missing teeth. Oligodontia refers to six or more missing teeth, and anodontia to the complete absence of teeth. Oligodontia is a rare genetic disorder which represents the congenital absence of more than six teeth in primary, permanent or both dentitions.

The most common missing teeth are the wisdom teeth, the permanent upper lateral incisors, the lower second premolars, or the upper second premolar, which is more likely to be found in females than in males.

What are the causes?

The cause of isolated missing teeth still isn’t fully clear, although the condition is believed to be associated with genetic or environmental factors during dental development. Missing teeth have been reported in association with increased maternal age, low birth weight, multiple births and rubella virus infection.

Recent studies of assessing environmental risk factors for hypodontia shows that maternal smoking does increase the risk as well as passive smoking and caffeine being assessed but showed no statistical significance.

Although, it is often familial, and can also be associated with genetic disorders such as ectodermal dysplasia or Down syndrome; Hypodontia can also be seen in people with cleft lip and palate.

Dental anomalies associated with Hypodontia are;

  • Conical shaped teeth
  • Ectopic canines
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Diastema
  • Delayed eruption


Usually, to treat hypodontia orthodontic braces are required. Braces are used to reposition the teeth so that replacement teeth can be provided (if needed) to improve appearance as well as providing other benefits such as helping you bite, chew, and speak more effectively. Having straight teeth also contributes to healthy teeth and gums, as well as making it easier to brush and floss.

An alternative solution is to consider is dental implants. Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Dental implants are used to support one or more false teeth. It is a titanium screw that can replace the root of a tooth when it fails.

If you’re living with Hypodontia and you’d like us to go through some options with you, speak to us today on 0333 1234 999. 

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