Microdontia is literally "small teeth." When this condition is present, one or more teeth have shortened roots and are smaller than normal, or they are cone-shaped or malformed in some other way. It commonly affects a single tooth or a pair of teeth, especially the maxillary laterals or the third molars. Very rarely, microdontia may affect all teeth (called generalized microdontia); this is sometimes seen in cases of pituitary dwarfism. Another, similar condition is relative generalized microdontia, in which the teeth may be only slightly smaller than normal but the jaw structure is somewhat larger than normal. This can give the impression of true generalized microdontia, and typically occurs in children who inherit their tooth size from one parent and the jaw size from the other parent. When only one or a few teeth are involved, it's important to consider the possibility that adjacent teeth may shift in response to the wide space caused by the smaller teeth. This can lead to a malocclusion, or an abnormal bite, possibly requiring orthodontic treatment. Also, if the roots are abnormally small or short, this can limit treatment possibilities, as such teeth may not be strong enough for normal-sized crowns. Teeth with small roots also can't be used as supports for a bridge, commonly used to replace missing teeth.
* If the roots are adequate, we can place temporary crowns (caps) on the teeth as they grow in, to help them maintain their position and normal spacing.
* Permanent crowns can be placed once teeth are fully grown in and developed.
* If roots are not adequate on primary teeth, we may place space maintainers to act as placeholders until the permanent teeth grow in.
* In adults, dental implants can be placed with normal-sized crowns to replace the microdont (the small tooth).