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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 9378325, 9 pages
Review Article

Hypodontia: An Update on Its Etiology, Classification, and Clinical Management

1Department of Oral Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Correspondence should be addressed to Mauro Farella;

Received 13 November 2016; Revised 14 February 2017; Accepted 19 February 2017; Published 19 March 2017

Academic Editor: Jasmina Primozic

Copyright © 2017 Azza Husam Al-Ani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypodontia, or tooth agenesis, is the most prevalent craniofacial malformation in humans. It may occur as part of a recognised genetic syndrome or as a nonsyndromic isolated trait. Excluding third molars, the reported prevalence of hypodontia ranges from 1.6 to 6.9%, depending on the population studied. Most affected individuals lack only one or two teeth, with permanent second premolars and upper lateral incisors the most likely to be missing. Both environmental and genetic factors are involved in the aetiology of hypodontia, with the latter playing a more significant role. Hypodontia individuals often present a significant clinical challenge for orthodontists because, in a number of cases, the treatment time is prolonged and the treatment outcome may be compromised. Hence, the identification of genetic and environmental factors may be particularly useful in the early prediction of this condition and the development of prevention strategies and novel treatments in the future.