Amelogenesis Imperfecta: What It Is, How It Affects Teeth And How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help

Amelogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disorder that affects tooth development, shape and coloration. If your doctor or dentist has recently diagnosed you with this disorder, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do about your teeth. Actually, a cosmetic dentist can help you in several ways, all of which depend upon the severity of the presentation of amelogenesis imperfecta in you. Here is some more information on what this disorder is, how it affects your teeth and how cosmetic dentistry can help.

Amelogenesis Imperfecta: Gene Mutations 

This disorder is the result of gene mutations, specifically the mutations of genes responsible for the shape, color, hardness and enamel of your teeth. It seems to be much more widespread in people of Swedish ancestry and origin, since Sweden currently holds the highest ratio of occurrences of this disorder. (It is less common in the U.S., but probably only because of the numerous nationalities here that have created the great melting pot of ethnicities.) It can have a major impact on your teeth, or it may affect them only slightly.

How AI Affects Your Teeth

If you have AI (amelogenesis imperfecta), it will present itself as misshapen teeth, teeth that are yellowed or brown even when you practice excellent oral hygiene, lack of tooth enamel or very thin enamel, and your teeth are easily broken, chipped or cracked because of their genetic predisposition to weakness. Your smile may look somewhat snaggle-toothed or it may look as though you smoke several packs of cigarettes a day. The worst cases of AI have signs and symptoms of all of the above.

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help AI Patients

If your teeth are especially bad, you may want to consider having them pulled and replaced with dentures or implants. If they are not broken, chipped or cracked but just yellowed or misshapen, your cosmetic dentist could cap and crown all of them or you could get a full set of veneers. If you have a very mild case of AI, then your cosmetic dentist could whiten your teeth using a laser (because standard bleaching or whitening procedures would not be a good option for teeth with weakened enamel) and then apply a strong dental sealant to protect your teeth against breakage and prevent rapid yellowing again. Consult with your cosmetic dentist to see which of these procedures would be most appropriate for the severity of your AI-related dental issues.