Sometimes children are born with supernumerary, or additional, teeth, which is an oral condition called “hyperdontia.” Extreme cases are very rare, and the majority of cases are limited to only a single tooth. The standard number of primary teeth is 20, and the standard number of permanent teeth is 32. The first set of teeth to erupt in a person’s mouth are the primary teeth. Typically these appear by the age of 3, and are shed by the age of 12. Permanent teeth are usually erupted by the age of 21, and take the place of those primary teeth. If a person develops more than 20 primary teeth, or more than 32 permanent teeth, the condition is known as hyperdontia.

Supernumerary teeth are often classified by shape and by position. The shapes include the following:

  • Supplemental, where the tooth has a normal shape for the teeth in that series
  • Tuberculate, or “barrel shaped”
  • Conical, or “peg shaped”

There is evidence of hereditary factors leading to hyperdontia, although the exact cause is unclear. Often, there are conditions that may accompany hyperdontia, such as cleidocranial dysplasia, Ehler-Danlos syndrome, Gardner syndrome, or cleft lip and palate. Hyperdontia is rare in people with no other associated diseases or syndromes, and it affects approximately one and four percent of the United States population.

Depending on the individual case of hyperdontia, there are several options when it comes to dealing with the condition. According to the potential problem supernumerary teeth and their type may pose, treatments plans your doctors suggests may vary. Orthodontic treatment often will help, and extraction may also be necessary. Children should typically receive a dental evaluation by the age of 7. This not only ensures a thorough hygiene evaluation, but will also uncover any potential complications due to hyperdontia.

If you think you or your child may be suffering from hyperdontia, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. We will help you determine if orthodontic treatment is the right course of treatment for you!