Mesiodens--diagnosis and management of a common supernumerary tooth

J Can Dent Assoc. 2003 Jun;69(6):362-6.


Mesiodentes are the most common supernumerary teeth, occurring in 0.15% to 1.9% of the population. Given this high frequency, the general dentist should be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of mesiodentes and appropriate treatment. The cause of mesiodentes is not fully understood, although proliferation of the dental lamina and genetic factors have been implicated. Mesiodentes can cause delayed or ectopic eruption of the permanent incisors, which can further alter occlusion and appearance. It is therefore important for the clinician to diagnose a mesiodens early in development to allow for optimal yet minimal treatment. Treatment options may include surgical extraction of the mesiodens. If the permanent teeth do not erupt in a reasonable period after the extraction, surgical exposure and orthodontic treatment may be required to ensure eruption and proper alignment of the teeth. In some instances, fixed orthodontic therapy is also required to create sufficient arch space before eruption and alignment of the incisor(s). Early diagnosis allows the most appropriate treatment, often reducing the extent of surgery, orthodontic treatment and possible complications. This paper outlines the causes and modes of presentation of mesiodentes, and presents guidelines for diagnosis and management of nonsyndromic mesiodentes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incisor / abnormalities*
  • Malocclusion / etiology
  • Malocclusion / therapy
  • Maxilla
  • Orthodontics, Corrective / methods
  • Tooth Eruption
  • Tooth, Impacted / etiology
  • Tooth, Impacted / therapy
  • Tooth, Supernumerary* / complications
  • Tooth, Supernumerary* / diagnosis
  • Tooth, Supernumerary* / surgery