What Is Amelogenesis Imperfecta?
Amelogenesis imperfecta refers to a group of rare inherited conditions that affect the way your enamel – the hard, dense outermost part of the tooth – may have formed. In patients with amelogenesis imperfecta, the enamel may be weak or lack sufficient mineral, or it may be missing from some areas or from some entire teeth. There are many subtypes of the condition that fall into four main categories. Regardless of the type, this condition is usually genetic, meaning it is inherited from one or both parents.
How Do I Know If I Have Amelogenesis Imperfecta?
Normally, the enamel creates a durable, protective layer that completely covers the exposed areas of the teeth. In patients with amelogenesis imperfecta, the enamel is defective or missing. This leaves the teeth weak and susceptible to cracking and decay, and it leaves the supporting tissues (such as the gums, bone tissue and ligaments that hold the tooth in place) more susceptible to disease, as well.
Amelogenesis imperfecta causes teeth to develop many problems. The teeth may be too small, pitted or grooved, and discolored. They’ll tend to wear and break rapidly, or get cavities easily, frequently leading to tooth loss.
The teeth almost always appear yellow-brown in color. Very frequently, the teeth do not fit together appropriately, and it may be impossible to get your front teeth to close all the way. Because the teeth are so fragile and the enamel is so thin, patients with amelogenesis imperfecta usually report severe sensitivity to temperature changes. Sometimes they even experience severe, continuous pain without a trigger.
Genetic testing does exist to confirm whether you have the gene mutation that causes amelogenesis imperfecta. However, Dr. Carlos Castro and Dr. Nicholas Miller at Georgia Prosthodontics are equipped to identify and diagnose the condition. This process will start with a thorough exam and dental imaging, after which we can discuss your options for creating a comfortable and functional set of teeth that you’ll be proud to show off.
Types of Amelogenesis Imperfecta
There are four main categories of amelogenesis imperfecta, each of which affect the teeth in slightly different ways. They are classified based on the type of enamel defect, how the teeth appear in X-rays, and your symptoms. There are 17 subtypes of amelogenesis imperfecta, each of which come from a slightly different genetic mutation.
Most types of this condition create similar problems. Commonly, the teeth will be yellow-brown or creamy white in color, have a pitted or grooved texture, and grow in smaller than normal teeth. The bite will usually not meet up properly, and it may be impossible to make some teeth touch. The teeth are usually very fragile and may be tender, sore or sensitive.
Hypoplastic (type I)
describes a defect in the amount of enamel that develops.
Hypomaturation (type II)
refers to a defect in the final stages of the development of tooth enamel, where the enamel fails to mature completely.
Hypocalcification (type III)
describes when the enamel does not have enough mineral.
The fourth type
combines several features of the other three types, as well as additional malformations of the teeth.
We Can Give You the Teeth You Deserve.
All types of amelogenesis come down to insufficient enamel. This key defect can manifest in many different ways, but all require intervention to ensure a lifetime of good oral health. Your case will likely require a mix of different treatments to address a variety of ways the condition may have affected the development of your teeth. Such effects may include advanced decay or lost teeth.
Great home care, including the right products, will make all the difference for your teeth. We can recommend potent desensitizing products and toothpastes to help reduce your tooth sensitivity, and we can educate you on the best ways to care for your teeth and your restorations.
As prosthodontists, we have the specialized training to address every possibility for how amelogenesis imperfecta may have affected your teeth. With the only recognized formal training regimen in cosmetic dentistry, we can ensure the very best care in correcting the esthetic issues this condition can cause.
Just as importantly, we can provide healthy, functional full mouth restoration to protect the teeth you have and replace what may have already been lost.
Common treatments for amelogenesis imperfecta
Some patients with amelogenesis imperfecta feel like their only option is to have all their teeth removed and replaced with dentures, but we will do everything we can to salvage as much of your own tooth structure as we can.
Don’t Let Finances Stand in the Way of Your Oral Health!
Amelogenesis imperfecta may have given you teeth with more treatment needs than other people, but your lifelong oral health and the functionality of your teeth depend on appropriately addressing all aspects of the condition. We understand that finances are a major concern for many of our patients, but we don’t want budgetary constraints to keep you from accessing the excellent treatment you deserve. This is why we are committed to helping you maximize your dental insurance benefits whenever possible. We can also work with you to create a payment plan and financing options that will suit your budget and get you healthy. Each of our locations in Atlanta, GA have verything you could possibly need for the best treatment outcome. From advanced imaging and 3D modeling technology to a state-of-the-art in-house prosthetics lab, we have everything your teeth need. We are proud to offer support to patients throughout the Atlanta area.
Don’t Let Amelogenesis Imperfecta Prevent Your Strong, Healthy Smile.
Schedule a consultation to build a plan tailored to you!