It can be a chilling experience for any parent to be told that their child has any sort of medical condition. And yet, your response when your family dentist tells you that your child has a mesioden might well be one of confusion. Mesiodens are a form of hyperdontia, wherein a child has developed a supernumerary (unnecessary and extra) tooth. Though hyperdontia can result in a supernumerary tooth forming anywhere in the mouth, a mesioden develops between the front incisors, which is in as prominent a position as possible. It's hardly a pleasant thought, especially for your child, so what can be done about it?
An Extra Tooth in a Smile
In addition to not being a pleasant thought, a mesioden can be an unpleasant look. Such a supernumerary tooth is underdeveloped when compared to the other teeth in your child's mouth, so when they smile, it's as though an extra baby tooth has been wedged into the gumline.
Taking Up Space
It's not only the aesthetics of a mesioden that can be problematic. The sheer space needed for the unnecessary tooth can be uncomfortable during the developmental phase, simply because it contorts the adjacent teeth into a position that allows sufficient space for the mesioden to erupt from the gumline. In terms of discomfort and aesthetics, a mesioden needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. But how does a dentist deal with this unwelcome visitor?
Spotting a Mesioden Early
It goes without saying that regular dental checkups are important for anyone, but they're absolutely crucial during the developmental phase of your child's teeth. This allows your dentist to identify any problems before they become particularly pronounced. Your dentist might spot the telltale space between the teeth that can indicate a mesioden, although x-ray confirmation will generally be needed.
Surgery and Possible Orthodontics
Once the problem has been confirmed, surgical removal might be necessary wherein the entire tooth and its underlying root structure will be extracted. As with the removal of any healthy tooth, there can be some discomfort involved during the postoperative phase, but this should be brief. Orthodontics might be necessary in the future to correct any gap if the incisors have become misaligned due to the mesioden.
Some extra body parts might actually be rather useful. An extra pair of arms, anyone? A mesioden serves no useful purpose, but as far as dental problems go, it's fairly minor and is easy enough to rectify.