Selective tooth agenesis is a common condition that involves missing permanent teeth, excluding wisdom teeth. There are two forms of tooth agenesis: oligodontia, which involves 6 or more teeth, and hypodontia, which involves less than 6 teeth. The most common missing teeth are the premolars, maxillary lateral incisors, and third molars. Other symptoms of selective tooth agenesis may include small and abnormally shaped teeth. Delayed tooth eruption, enamel abnormalities, and salivary gland problems are also common.
Mutations in the PAX9 and MSX1 have been strongly linked to selective tooth agenesis, both of which are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. “Autosomal dominant” means that an affected individual has a 50% chance of passing the condition on to his/her offspring. There are various other genetic mutations that are associated with selective tooth agenesis, all of which are autosomal recessive.
Diagnosis of selective tooth agenesis first includes a thorough dental examination to confirm abnormal missing teeth, along with a panoramic dental X-ray, or radiograph. Radiographic confirmation of selective tooth agenesis would show the presence of tooth buds (formations of tissue that eventually become teeth) where the missing teeth occur. Genetic testing to confirm PAX9, MSX1, or other mutations may also be an option for diagnosis.
There is no treatment for the genetic form of selective tooth agenesis, necessarily, though prosthetics such as dentures or partial dentures are available to improve appearance and function of affected teeth. Dental implants may also be an option if there is adequate bone height available.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with selective tooth agenesis, speak with your doctor about the most current treatment options.
Description Last Updated: Aug 22, 2018