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Tooth formation - delayed or absent

  • Definition
    • When a person's teeth grow in, they may be delayed or not occur at all.

  • Alternative Names
    • Delayed or absent tooth formation; Teeth - delayed or absent formation

  • Considerations
    • The age at which a tooth comes in varies. Most infants get their first tooth between 6 and 9 months, but it may be earlier or later.

      Sometimes, children or adults are missing teeth they never developed. Cosmetic or orthodontic dentistry can correct this problem.

  • Causes
  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Talk to your health care provider if your child has not developed any teeth by 9 months of age.

  • What to Expect at Your Office Visit
    • The provider will perform a physical exam. This will include a detailed look at your child's mouth and gums. You will be asked questions such as:

      • In what order did the teeth emerge?
      • At what age did other family members develop teeth?
      • Are any other family members missing teeth that never "came in"?
      • What other symptoms are present?

      An infant with delayed or absent tooth formation may have other symptoms and signs that indicate a specific medical condition.

      Medical tests are not often needed. Most of the time, delayed tooth formation is normal. Dental x-rays may be done.

  • References
    • Dean JA, Turner EG. Eruption of the teeth: local, systemic, and congenital factors that influence the process. In: Dean JA, ed. McDonald and Avery's Dentistry for the Child and Adolescent. 10th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2016:chap 19.

      Tinanoff N. Development and developmental anomalies of the teeth. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2015:chap 307.