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What is a Supernumerary Tooth?

What is a Supernumerary Tooth?

How many teeth should you have? The number can certainly vary. Children should have 20 natural “baby teeth”, otherwise known as primary or deciduous teeth.  Most adult humans can expect to have a total of 32 permanent adult natural teeth, otherwise known as succedaneous teeth.  The total of 32 teeth in adults includes the four typically troublesome wisdom teeth.

Of course, wisdom teeth extraction is common during the late teens or early 20’s. Additionally, patients who have had braces may have also had 2 or more premolars removed during the orthodontic process. Sometimes, a permanent tooth may fail to grow in at all. The original 32 teeth can quickly whittle down to 28 or 24 for a large portion of the population.

But what happens when there are too many teeth? For patients in Chicago tooth extraction is typically the recommended treatment. The term used to describe an extra tooth is known as a supernumerary tooth. In essence, it is possible to have all of the normal adult teeth, plus one or more additional teeth. A very common occurrence, it is possible to be born with too many tooth buds. As the teeth mature, the extra tooth may attempt to squeeze into place, or it may become trapped and impacted under the surface of the gums and bone.

Rather than risk complications such as crowding, bone loss, tooth decay, or damage to the neighboring teeth, this downtown Chicago oral surgeon may recommend removing the extra tooth. To determine the extent of your treatment, a clinical examination and x-rays are necessary. The position of the supernumerary tooth can be precisely visualized with our advanced 3D imaging and the impact of the tooth to your overall dental health will be considered.

With an accurate diagnosis, our oral surgeon can inform you about the details of the procedure. Will your tooth extraction be considered simple or surgical? What form of pain management will be offered? What should you expect following the procedure?

As a specialist, our dental surgeon has the expertise to remove the extra tooth, preserve the surrounding bone, replace the defect with a bone graft, identify nerve pathways and other anatomy, administer the necessary sedative intravenous medications, and manage medical or dental emergencies.

If you suspect that you have a supernumerary or extra tooth, contact our office for an examination today.


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