A supernumerary tooth is an extra tooth. Most adults have about 32 permanent teeth while children typically have 20 deciduous teeth. The eruption of extra teeth is a disorder called hyperdontia. Affecting up to four percent of the population, hyperdontia can lead to a number of oral health complications, which is why an oral surgeon will recommend extractions for supernumerary teeth.
Facts About Hyperdontia
A supernumerary tooth can erupt anywhere in the mouth. These extra teeth can emerge in clusters, too, and even fuse to normal teeth. While supernumerary teeth can look like normal teeth and could erupt properly, they pose a number of threats to a person’s oral health.
Types of supernumerary teeth include:
- Conical – The most common type of extra teeth. They tend to erupt properly near central incisors.
- Molariform – These supernumerary teeth resemble premolars and possess complete roots.
- Supplemental – A common type of extra tooth that emerges with deciduous teeth. They typically erupt near lateral incisors.
- Tuberculate – These extra teeth often become impacted (stuck in the gums and/or jaw). Tuberculate teeth tend to delay the proper eruption of normal teeth.
Concerns Associated with Supernumerary Teeth
The presence of extra teeth is problematic for many reasons. One of the most common concerns associated with hyperdontia is the fact that extra teeth negatively impact the eruption of normal, adult teeth. This can lead to significant orthodontic problems, reduced oral function, and discomfort.
Supernumerary teeth can fuse to normal teeth. The crowding associated with these teeth reduces the efficacy of oral hygiene, which increases the risks for periodontal disease and caries. In some instances, extra dentition can cause teeth to erupt into the nasal cavity.
An oral healthcare provider can diagnose the presence of extra teeth through physical examinations and diagnostic images. When these teeth are found, a dentist will likely refer a patient to an oral surgeon for extraction. Removing these teeth can create the space needed for normal teeth to emerge and reduce the risk of disease associated with hyperdontia.
Oral surgeons possess advanced education and focused training to remove teeth. If you have been referred to our practice, call Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates to reserve a consultation with our skilled team.