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Congenitally Missing Permanent Teeth
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Congenitally Missing Permanent Teeth

My 12 year old is missing all but 10 of his permanent teeth.  He still has most of his baby teeth, but they look like little corn kernels next to his permanent teeth.  He is becoming more and more insecure about his appearance, as well as having obvious chewing difficulties due to the teeth not meeting and large gaps where permanent teeth should be.  I would like some advice as to the normal treatment plan for this problem.  He sees the dentist regularly, and the dentist has mentioned options, but due to the fact that my son has so much growing to do, anything that can be done will be temporary and have to be redone frequently.  I have dental insurance, however, it does not cover congenitally missing permanent teeth.  Is there anything I can do that will not require me to mortgage the house that will help my son's appearance until he is old enough to receive permanent implants?  I have bad teeth myself and am very sensitive to my son's insecurities so I want to do what's best for him, but can only afford so much.









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Avatar_dr_m_tn
There are two things that come to mind immediately. The first is that I think you are correct that your sons' self image is very important. The second is if you are anywhere near a dental school I think it would behoove you to see if your son can be seen in either the post graduate pediodontic or prosthodontic clinics. it sounds like a difficult case and should be treated by specialists. The other possibility would be a teaching hospital in your area with a dental residency program. My first choice would be the dental school.Good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
It's not a simple problem. The correct thing to do would be to see a prosthodontist-- someone who specializes in dental prosthetics. The correct way to do the case is, you are right, is to re-do the prosthetics as he ages. And yes, it is not inexpensive. However, once the first prosthetics are  placed, your insurance plan may cover their portion of future treatment, as the existing prosthetics becomes worn out. In other words, replacing congenitally missing teeth may not be covered, but replacing existing prosthetics may--- it all depends on your plan. To do the case right, cost will unfortunately be substatial over the years... and again you are right in that if it is not addressed he will probably have more severe problems down the road that will require, most likely, more involved care.
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Avatar_n_tn
If you feel alone, don't! I have three children missing many adult teeth.  My oldest has only 21 teeth (missing 11), my middle 18 (missing 14), and my youngest has only 14 teeth (missing 18) with no lower jaw molars.  If you ever find an answer to your question, please repost.  I have been spending many hours looking for the same answer.  

All I can do is recommend a research study I found looking to identify the genes that cause this.  They currently know of two. It is through the University of North Carolina.  I just recently participated (through the mail).  The procedure was painless.

Good luck!  
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Avatar_n_tn
My wife and I are heart broken. Our 6 yr old son is missing 12 permanent teeth. Our dentist says that we cannot do anything until he is in his teens.  Can anyone recommend a specialist that works with children with similar problems. We want to make his life as normal as possible.  We are very supportive with him and he is in a gifted program in school.  We are also active within our church, and we trust in God.  Any information is welcomed.  God Bless
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Avatar_n_tn
Do any of your kids have lack of hair on their arms or legs, prominant chins or facial features, and inability to sweat normally?
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Avatar_n_tn
All have hair.  One child has an underbite and one child does suffer from ezcema (eczema) which can be caused when it is hot out.  Why?

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A related discussion, 8 year old son missing 2 permanent teeth was started.
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