Anodontia or Edentia: Causes, Treatment, Diagnosis

What is Anodontia or Edentia?

Anodontia or Edentia is recognized as a dental condition that is characterized by a complete non-appearance of teeth. Here, the absence of teeth means both the baby teeth as well as permanent teeth. Anodontia or Edentia is viewed as extremely rare when it lacks the abnormalities. Sometimes, this process is linked with a series of conditions, known as ectodermal dysplasia. When this situation occurs, abnormalities are noticed in the patient’s nail, sweat glands, and hair too. Anodontia or Edentia is considered as one autosomal recessive condition and it is quite different from suffering from missing teeth that happens due to some dental problems or an injury.

Sometimes, the patients suffer from partial anodontia. In this condition, they possess some teeth. This condition is generally recognized as:

  • Hypodontia: In this condition, a patient loses 1-6 of his permanent teeth.
  • Oligodontia: In this condition, a patient loses more than 6 (but not all) permanent teeth.

What is Anodontia or Edentia?

Causes of Anodontia or Edentia

Anodontia or edentia is considered as an inherited genetic flaw. However, the precise genes that are involved in this disorder are yet to be identified. Generally, Anodontia or Edentia is linked to ectodermal dysplasia that shows symptoms like:

In only some rare cases, anodontia occurs when there isn’t an ectodermal dysplasia.

Diagnosis of Anodontia or Edentia

Anodontia or edentia is generally diagnosed when a baby doesn’t begin to develop his teeth even when he attains the age of nearly 13 months. It can also be diagnosed when a child doesn’t begin to develop his permanent teeth even after attaining the age of 10 years. In either of these conditions, your dentist may do an X-ray for checking whether there are teeth in the gums or not. When the X-ray proves the non-existent of teeth, then it turns out to be the case of anodontia. In some conditions, children do develop teeth later in their life than the usual period.

Treatment of Anodontia or Edentia

There isn’t any way that could inspire the evolution of congenitally missing teeth. When a patient has got few of his teeth missing, then perhaps he isn’t in need of any treatment. Nonetheless, there are several ways available through which artificial teeth can be added to augment the appearance as well as to make speaking or eating easier. The processes are described below:

Dentures: Dentures are identified as removable substitutes for missing teeth. Dentures are generally the most effectual management for complete anodontia.

Dental Bridges: Bridges are viewed as non-removable replacements which bind to the artificial teeth to the patient’s surrounding teeth for filling the spaces that have been left by the missing teeth. Dental bridges work the most effectual way when you are missing just a few teeth of yours.

Dental Implants: The job of these implants is to include a false root in your jaw for holding replacement teeth in place. Dental implants look similar to natural teeth.


Anodontia or edentia is viewed as a tough condition that attracts social ridicule and humiliation. For this reason, the parents of the affected children as well as adults ought to provide love as well as support to assist patients to get over this problem. Anodontia creates the problem of speaking and eating difficulty. No matter what caused this problem, but in most of the cases, this problem can be managed with the help of dental implants, dental bridges, or dentures.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 30, 2018

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