Extra Teeth or Supernumerary Teeth

Impacted teeth are teeth that don’t erupt into the mouth. Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the most likely to become impacted. Next comes the upper central incisors – the two upper teeth at the center of your smile.

Several factors may contribute to these teeth being stuck in the jaw, and one of these is extra or supernumerary teeth. The extra tooth, sometimes called mesiodens can block the passage. Removal of the extra tooth may be necessary for the adult tooth to come in spontaneously.

Reasons for Impacted Incisors

There are several factors that may be involved with an impacted central incisor.

  • Crowding  - The tooth can’t emerge properly because of insufficient space
  • Trauma – A baby or primary tooth that has experienced early trauma may become impacted
  • Root Dilaceration – A tooth has long, curved roots, causing it to erupt in the wrong position.
  • Odontoma – A tooth-like structure that blocks the eruption
  • Cyst Mesiodens – An extra (supernumerary) tooth develops between the central incisors, inhibiting eruption

Removal of Supernumerary Teeth

If these teeth can’t erupt properly because extra teeth block their passage, central incisors have difficulty erupting on their own. When the blockage is discovered early on, the extra tooth can be removed, leaving space for the central incisor to erupt correctly.

As these teeth continue to develop, the space they take up in the jaw becomes larger. When the impacted tooth is finally removed, it leaves a larger defect, and bone grafting may be required to fill the space.

In some cases, the extra tooth comes into contact with the permanent root of another tooth. This leads to resorption, or shrinkage, of the permanent tooth root. In severe cases, the permanent tooth may become mobile and require removal.

Further Treatment Options

If the supernumerary tooth is removed and the permanent tooth still doesn’t erupt, we have other treatment options.

Dr. Um may be able to coax the central incisor into the correct position with orthodontics. A gold chain will be attached to the impacted incisor and attached to the wire of the braces with a rubber band. This slowly pulls the impacted incisor to move slowly into the mouth. Dr. Um works with your orthodontist to help correct the impaction.

Early Treatment is Essential

Central incisors typically erupt between seven and eight years of age. For the best outcome, we need to find and remove extra teeth at the optimal time.

A significant concern associated with delayed removal of impacted central incisors is the failure of the permanent tooth to come down into the mouth.

A larger tooth that has been pulled down into the mouth with orthodontic treatment may also end up being shorter than the adjacent incisor. In this case, we will work with a top restorative dentist who can add a crown or veneer placed to restore the balance and harmony of your smile.

In some cases, an impacted incisor that is not removed early enough can become stuck to surrounding bone and can’t move down. In this case, Dr. Um will most likely recommend extraction of the tooth. We will be happy to talk to you about tooth replacement options like a dental implant or bridge to complete your smile.  

Call for Your Appointment

If your dentist has recommended removal of extra teeth, please call Lake Forest Oral Surgery. You can trust Dr. Um’s training and experience to determine the best approach in your case.