Dental anomalies include all types of congenital deformities in the dentition.
The animation presents a short description of the process of human development from the embryonic stage. After fertilization, a cluster of cells called a morula begins to develop out of the union between the male sperm and female egg. In the morula, individual cells begin to group together and form two mats of cells called the ectoderm and endoderm. A third mat of cells, called the mesoderm, develops out of the ectoderm.
For those of you who are interested, the following organs and tissues develop from the ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm:
Ectoderm: brain, eyes, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, nails, skin, hair, and teeth
Mesoderm: bones, skin, muscles, urinary organs, digestive organs, blood, blood vessels, and teeth
Endooderm: lungs, tonsils, thyroid, liver, pancreas, parts of the urinary bladder, and the inner ear
We will now continue from the embryonic stage. The dental lamina is a band of ectodermal cells growing from the epithelium of the embryonic jaws, and this band of cells gives rise to the tooth buds, which are precursors of our teeth.
If the start of the animation is recalled, one can notice how the original cells have changed. From the egg and sperm cells, kidneys, heart, blood, and many other cells have developed and organs have appeared. Biologists refer to this as cell differentiation and embryogenesis.
For those of you who are interested, molecular biologists have long concerned themselves with embryonic stem cells, which are the cells of the early embryo. These cells are multipotent (they can develop into any cell type required, e,g., heart, nerve, muscle, etc). During the course of cell division and increasing specialization, the cells gradually lose their ability to develop into other possible cell types.
Cells diversify until they can only fulfill very specific roles. Heart cells, for example, always work in unison, eventually resulting in a detectable heartbeat. For a long time, we believed that only totally diversified cells existed in adults. Therefore, for a considerable period, people were obsessed with the idea that embryonic stem cells could still develop into any other type of cell. The theory was that one could grow new organs out of these multipotent cells, thus enabling many self-inflicted illnesses to be mastered. Later, it was discovered that some cells in adults still had the ability to differentiate like their ancestral cells—these were termed adult stem cells.
Now the focus shifts on dental anomalies. Here once can picture the consequences of disturbances in the ectoderm, called dentine disturbances. On the other hand, here once can see the consequences of enamel disturbances.
This is an anomaly where prolonged retention of milk teeth hindered the development of permanent teeth, leading to the formation of peg-shaped permanent teeth. These are barely fixed in the jaw and fall out quickly as a rule. Isolated congenital defects are more rare. Here is an example of concrescent teeth.
Dental anomalies don’t have to be congenital. The mother of this patient had consumed tetracycline, an antibiotic, during pregnancy. This disturbed the development of the baby’s dental enamel, leading to the formation of discolored teeth.
A lot of people believe that their teeth have always been bad. This film clip will show that congenitally defective teeth occur only rarely and when they do, nearly all the teeth are affected. Patients with congenital bad teeth lose them at a very young age.
If decay occurs mainly on the back teeth this must be due to some other cause, so if you have fillings mainly in the side teeth it’s not because you have bad teeth but much more likely because you have bad cleaning habits.Dental Anomalies