The Eastman Hypodontia Clinic was founded in 1977 when it was recognised that this condition is best managed by a team of experts from different dental specialties. Input is often required from a specialist restorative dentist, paediatric dentist and orthodontist to enable us to offer our patients the highest quality of care. This ensures that the best combination of treatments can be used for each patient.
To date we have treated over 3,000 cases making it the world's largest hypodontia clinic.
- Hypodontia and ectodermal dysplasia
Hypodontia is a condition characterised by developmentally missing teeth, however, absent wisdom teeth are not normally included. It is very rare in the primary dentition and more common in females than males. About 5% of the population have at least one tooth missing, however only about 0.3% are affected with severe hypodontia where six or more permanent teeth are absent.
In addition to missing teeth people with hypodontia may have rather small or very conical teeth. Sometimes the jaw bone which supports the teeth does not grow as much as normal, and any permanent teeth which are present may erupt late. Where these are missing the overlying deciduous teeth may be kept for many years, even sometimes into the patient's 50’s.
The clinic offers advice to patients and co-ordinates treatment, which may be carried out entirely at the Eastman Dental Hospital or can involve shared treatment with your local dentist. This ensures that care is provided in the most effective and efficient manner and that everyone shares the same treatment objective.
One of our dental nurses will give you an introduction to the clinic and outline what to expect. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to the dental chair where the examination will take place.
Initially, you will be asked a number of questions including your main dental concerns, and relevant medical history. A dental examination will then be undertaken and a decision will be made if any radiographic images are required to supplement the clinical findings. If your dentist has recently taken x-ray pictures it is worthwhile asking if you can bring these along to the appointment.
If radiographs are taken following the clinical examination, you will be seen in the clinic for a second time, during the same visit, and other members of the team may be asked to examine you. Specialist trainees are also often present in these clinics.
Once a full examination has been undertaken, your treatment options will be explained to both parent and patient.
Occasionally, additional special records (for example, dental study models) are required before treatment options can be given and you may be asked to attend a separate appointment to have these collected.
Following the consultation, a letter will be written to your dentist, and copied to you, that outlines the main clinical findings, treatment options and the outcome of the days visit. This letter can take a few weeks to reach the dentist.
Some patients will not be at the correct dental developmental stage to start treatment and they will be reviewed again on the clinic 6-24 months after this initial visit depending on their age. Other patients will be ready and will be placed onto the appropriate orthodontic, paediatric or restorative waiting list.
If the patient's management involves less complex procedures, these maybe arranged with the family dentist.