What is Enamel Hypoplasia?
The outer layer of dental tissue covering the tooth part, which is seen above the gum, is enamel. Enamel Hypoplasia is a defect in the quality and quantity of the enamel. Enamel Hypoplasia results in weakening of the crown of the tooth so pieces of enamel may fracture off. The tissue loss observed will vary depending on the severity of the hypoplasia and factors such as caries and trauma. Once caries is initiated it progresses more rapidly in hypoplastic teeth. Trauma in the primary dentition can cause localized enamel hypoplasia on the permanent crown.
The aim is to maintain maximum amount of enamel tissue possible until the child reaches an age at which advanced restorative techniques can be employed to rehabilitate the teeth. In the short term it is necessary to intervene to relieve hypersensitivity and pain, to improve aesthetics and to reduce the space loss and over eruption of opposing teeth.
How do we manage this?
Good dietary habits and improved oral hygiene with use of fluoride paste is essential. Flouride varnish or fissure sealant will be applied if necessary.
The Dental Therapist may restore the tooth with a Glass lonomer material (Fuji 1X) as an interim measure. Depending on the amount of hypoplasia your child may be referred to a contracting dentist under the Special Dental Benefit scheme for further treatment.
The contracting dentist will decide on future treatment.
If the tooth is severely affected extraction of the hypoplastic molars may be required. The decision to extract hypoplastic molars should be carried out in a consultation with an orthodontist.