Hyperdontia - Causes and Treatments

Hyperdontia is a condition in which there are extra teeth. Estimates indicate that it affects about 3% of the population. What are the causes though? And what are the available treatments? Read all about it below.
Hyperdontia - Causes and Treatments

Last update: 16 January, 2020

Hyperdontia is a condition in which a person develops extra teeth, well above the standard amount (32 pieces in adults and 20 pieces in children). Estimates indicate that the condition is present in between 2 and 3% of the population. OK, but what is it exactly? We’ll explain it below in detail. In addition, we’ll tell you what its main causes and treatments are.

What is hyperdontia?

Hyperdontia, as we mentioned before, is an excessive number of teeth. The extra teeth in a skull with this condition are “supernumerary.” Most of these teeth are in the upper arch, specifically in the midline between the canine teeth.

The “mesiodens”, between the two upper central incisors are the most common ones. They usually have a shape similar to that of their adjacent teeth, although there are different types:

  • In the form of a plug or cone
  • Molariform – that is, molar-shaped
Two women looking at an X-ray.
Hyperdontia comes with alterations that may be simple, multiple or associated with various syndromes.

These teeth can cause alterations, either by occupying the arcade space of other teeth or by delaying their eruption. There are three types of hyperdontia:

  • Simple: This one contains only one supernumerary tooth
  • Multiple: Here there are several supernumerary teeth, and they’re harder to find
  • Associated with syndromes: For example, Cleidocranial dysplasia, Ehler-Danlos syndrome, and cleft lip

Causes of hyperdontia

The abnormalities in the number of teeth in our mouths may exist by default. Hyperdontia is an excess number of teeth, whereas hypodontia is the absence of some teeth. They can exist in both temporary and definitive dentition. A person has this condition when the number is higher than 20 in temporary dentition and 32 in the final dentition.

The exact cause is still unknown, but there’s a genetic component involved in non-syndromic hyperdontia. Supernumerary teeth are due to hyperactivity of the embryonic cells that form the teeth, and this may be due to various causes:

  • Local: Motivated by infections, trauma, etc
  • General: Within these, we find those that result from syndromes

This condition is more frequent in men, with a 2-1 ratio when compared to women. It’s also more common in permanent dentition than in temporary dentition.

Hyperdontia treatment

The diagnosis of this pathology happens by doing an x-ray to evaluate tooth germs. This can show symptoms, such as delayed eruption, bad dental positions, and a diastema, among others. The treatment should suit the needs of each patient and the type of supernumerary tooth.

A patient undergoing dental work.

How can you treat hyperdontia?

There are various treatments for hyperdontia. However, a doctor must conduct several tests before making a decision on which one to remove.


The extraction of a supernumerary tooth is usually the recommended treatment in order to avoid possible problems in the eruption of the tooth or in the placement of the teeth within the arch.

However, an early extraction, especially in children, can damage the apex of adjacent teeth that aren’t yet formed. Because of this, a professional must do an individual study to determine when is the best time to extract it.


Normally, after performing the supernumerary tooth orthodontics on a patient with hyperdontia, a person might need to use orthodontics to be able to balance their arch and to keep the space available for the final tooth to come through, and that the extra tooth was occupying.

Replacing another tooth with agenesis

There are some cases of hyperdontia associated with the absence of some other teeth, and that produces teeth with unusual shapes. In these cases, the supernumerary tooth can replace the missing tooth and a dentist can improve its look using a crown or a veneer.

In conclusion

So, hyperdontia happens when a person has more teeth than they should. It’s a condition with genetic components but can also be due to other factors such as trauma. The chosen treatment depends on the conditions of each individual. Therefore, a complete case study is necessary.

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