My child's missing teeth!

Nov 06

My dentist says that my child is missing teeth. Is this common?

By the time most of us turned 12, we had 28 teeth in our mouths. 14 on the top and 14 on the bottom.

During our teenage years and early adult years, we may have had 4 more teeth grow in (wisdom teeth) and then had the pleasure of having them removed. So in total, a complete adult dentition consists of 32 teeth.

It's not uncommon to not have all four wisdom teeth. This is often a common question parents have when we review our diagnostic records "Does my child have all their wisdom teeth?"

Because we don't function with our third molars and it's almost a part of life to have them removed, no alarms are sounded when we are missing these teeth.

However, missing teeth in other areas of the mouth can pose a functional and aesthetic concern .. unless you're a hockey player and living in Canada!

The most common front tooth to be missing is called a maxillary (upper) lateral incisor. It's the smaller tooth adjacent to the two front teeth.

It's not uncommon to be missing both the right and left lateral incisors. Or if your child is missing one lateral incisor, the other lateral incisor can be misshaped or "peg-shaped."
























For these situations (missing teeth or peg-shaped teeth) it appears that women are more affected and the left side is twice as common as the right side.

The next questions we get next are "How did this happen?" "Could it have been prevented?" "Did my child not get enough calcium as a baby?"

Don't beat yourself up .. genetics is at play. However, we haven't yet figured out how to grow missing teeth.

So now what?

In the next blog, I'll discuss replacement options for missing lateral incisors. Stay tuned!


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