Imagine living without a single tooth in the prime of your life. A disorder known as Anodontia is manifested by such toothless condition in its patients. Read and find out all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

What is Anodontia?

It is a condition wherein all or most of the teeth fail to grow. This is a very rare disorder that is associated with ailments, such as Hypodontia and Oligondotia. It affects only a small percentage of the population.

Types of Anodontia

The disorder is classified into various types:

Picture 1 – Anodontia

Partial Anodontia or Hypodontia

This type is characterized by the absence of one to six teeth.


More than six teeth are found to be missing in this form.

Both conditions may affect permanent teeth. However, it is better to evaluate the absence of teeth as it may only be a symptom related to a rare and more serious disorder or syndrome. The absence of the wisdom teeth and the third molar of the individual is the most common type of loss of teeth observed in this condition.

Causes of Anodontia

The actual cause of this ailment remains a mystery as yet. However, it is suspected to be a genetic abnormality that springs from familial traits. Dentists and physicians are still looking for the causative gene. Various genetic disorders are thought to be related to this disease. These include:

  • Amelo-onycho-hypohidrotic syndrome
  • Acrofacial dysostosis Catania form
  • Chromosome 18p minus syndrome
  • Chromosome 18p, monosomy 18p
  • Ehlers-danlos syndrome, classic type
  • Hutchinson Gilford Syndrome
  • Ectodermal dysplasia, hyphidrotic, autosomal recessive
  • 18p minus syndrome

Some of the rare diseases associated with the condition involve:


It affects the mandible and the whole jaw of an individual. This results in a progressive swelling of this area, which affects the growth of all the permanent teeth of the person.

Gorlin-Chaudhry-Moss Syndrome

This is a rare condition characterized by dental anomalies like Anodontia, Craniofacial dysostosis, and the inability to fully close or open the eyes.

Adult Syndrome

This is another rare condition characterized by abnormal teeth development, tear duct obstruction, nail abnormalities, pigmentation anomalies, plus hand and foot abnormalities.

Margarita Island ectodermal dysplasia

This is an auto recessive disorder characterized by abnormalities in teeth, palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, cleft lip or cleft palate, onychodysplasia, hypotichosis, and unusual facies.

Rieger Syndrome

It shows the prominent absence or underdevelopment of teeth, eye abnormalities, and craniofacial problems.

Schopf-Schulz-Passarge Syndrome

This rare disease is characterized by thickened skin on the soles and the palms, prominently missing teeth, eyelid cysts, and sparse hair.

Rapp-Hodgkin ectodermal dysplasia Syndrome

This is a multi-system disorder characterized by nail, skin, teeth, and hair abnormalities, oral clefts, and reduced ability to sweat.

Witkop’s Syndrome

This syndrome is marked by tooth abnormalities and the occurrence of nail dysplasia due to the mutation of MSX1 gene.

Incontinentia pigmenti

It is easily recognizable due to unusual discolored skin patterns along with combination of eye, bone, teeth, nail, and hair malformations.

Focal Dermal Hypoplasia

This disorder is marked by bone, teeth, and skin pigmentation abnormalities and distinct asymmetry in the trunk, face, and the extremities.

Van der Woude Syndrome

It is recognized because of the multiple congenital abnormalities that it displays, such as lower lip pits and several missing teeth like the canines and the incisors.

Anodontia Treatment

The only possible form of treatment for this condition is prosthetic replacement of the missing teeth through dental implant technology or dentures. This helps provide patients with a normal appearance and a proper social life.

Picture 2 – Anodontia Image

Dental Implant Treatment

This is a costly treatment, but a secure way of providing artificial teeth to a patient. A careful evaluation of the jaw region of the patient has to be conducted to check if there is sufficient area to hold the artificial crown. The root device used for the implant is typically made of titanium. Implantation is performed only by expert dental surgeons. There is too much intricacy and complication in a treatment of this nature. Moreover this operation should only be carried out by someone who is highly skilled or knowledgeable in performing this procedure.

During this process, osseointegration with the titanium post has to be made. This has to be accepted by the jaw; otherwise, it will end up a failure. Due to this, dental surgeons require the use of general anesthesia, nitrous oxide sedation, oral conscious sedation, or intravenous sedation. This helps minimize the pain experienced by patients during the operation. Dentists who wish to include this in their list of services require proper license to carry it out. They might also be recommended legal training may by the government before being granted license.


This is a cheaper way of dealing with the disorder. However, this may be ineffective especially if there is no way to clip the device on the mouth. Patients may eventually end up undergoing dental implants followed by denture fixation. This is a costly treatment procedure and often requires purchasing a dental insurance. One can request for financial options from dental offices to undergo this process and gain a normal facial feature.

Anodontia is a difficult condition and attracts humiliation and social ridicule. Parents of affected children and adults should provide love and support to help patients tide over this problem while they are being treated.

One Response

  1. dr mohd altaf June 18, 2012

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