Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Take a look at this Panoramic Radiograph. If you know what to look for, you will see several missing permanent teeth. They never formed. This is more common that you may realize. It tends to run in families too, but not always. If there is no permanent tooth there, then the baby tooth will likely remain. Premolars and lateral incisors seem to be the most common (and third molars too). Usually it's just one or two teeth that are missing. This x-ray shows Seven missing premolars! (bicuspids). I've seen more than that on some kids.
Treatment can vary and can be anything from doing nothing to orthodontic treatment to close spaces, to a bridge or implant placement at an older age. The main thing is to know it is managable. In fact here is a patient who had two lateral incisors missing (that's the two teeth on either side of the two middle ones). Orthodontic treatment closed the spaces. Can you tell there are two missing teeth?