Missing permanent teeth or premature loss of baby teeth is one reason why the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends an orthodontic consultation for children beginning at age 7. The upper lateral incisors, second premolars and third molars (wisdom teeth) are the teeth most likely to fail to develop or erupt. Heredity is considered a major factor when permanent teeth are congenitally missing.
To determine whether or not teeth are actually missing, x-rays must be taken and carefully evaluated by Dr. Sam Papandreas. At times, a tooth may not actually be missing, but hidden underneath the gums and in poor position, preventing normal eruption and requiring orthodontic treatment to bring the tooth into alignment.