WHAT IS SUPERNUMERARY TOOTH EXTRACTION?
As children, 20 teeth develop and erupt. We then lose these teeth and our 32 permanent teeth begin to take their place. Sometimes, however, more than the standard number of teeth develop and begin to erupt. These are referred to as supernumerary teeth, and the condition is known as hyperdontia. The procedure to remove these excess teeth is known as supernumerary tooth/teeth extraction.
WHY DOES HYPERDONTIA OCCUR?
Hyperdontia has not been linked to a single cause. It is believed that certain congenital defects, such as a cleft lip or cleft palate are related to the occurrence of hyperdontia. Connective tissue disorders and the development of non-cancerous growths may also cause the development of supernumerary teeth. Genetics and environmental factors may also play a role.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR HYPERDONTIA?
Although hyperdontia affects just a small portion of the population, males are twice as likely to develop supernumerary teeth as females. Those at the greatest risk are patients born with a cleft lip or palate. Patients with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome or Gardner Syndrome are also at a higher risk of hyperdontia.
WHO SHOULD CONSIDER HYPERDONTIA TREATMENT?
Most cases of hyperdontia involve the development of just one supernumerary tooth. Instances of multiple teeth are rare, and instances of a large number of supernumerary teeth are even rarer. Although the extra tooth may be impacted or may only partially erupt, it can still cause a number of problems.
In addition to cosmetic problems, a supernumerary tooth can:
- Lead to the development of cavities and periodontal disease, as it can make oral hygiene practices more difficult
- Fuse with and potentially damage a permanent tooth
- Create dental crowding, which can cause misalignment of your permanent teeth
- Pain in the supernumerary tooth, surrounding teeth, and gums
TREATMENT PROCEDURES FOR HYPERDONTIA
Because of the many complications supernumerary teeth can cause, extraction is the only recommended treatment. It is important to do so as soon as possible to prevent serious complications. Your dentist may perform a physical examination and may also take x-rays to properly diagnose hyperdontia. The x-rays will allow your dentist to determine if the tooth is impacted and will require surgical removal.
If the tooth is partially or fully erupted, your dentist can easily extract the tooth as he/she would any other tooth. The tooth is gently moved back and forth to loosen it from its roots. Once he has sufficiently loosened the tooth, he/she can then remove it with dental forceps. Prior to extraction, your dentist will have numbed the tooth and gums, so you will not feel any discomfort during this process.
If you have an impacted supernumerary tooth, your dentist will provide you with an appropriate level of sedation. He/She will then create an incision in your gums above the tooth’s location. If necessary, your dentist may also cut into the bone to access the tooth and will procede to break the impacted tooth into pieces and then remove it, closing your incisions after the extraction is complete.
** PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DENTIST FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES, RISKS, COMPLICATIONS AND/OR ADVICE REGARDING YOUR CONDITION