Amelogenesis imperfecta (AL) is a genetic disorder that is rare, but is devastating for children that suffer with it. AL causes the enamel on the teeth to never form enamel. AL can cause the teeth to appear yellow, gray or brown while also causing them to be extremely soft and vulnerable to decay. Children suffering with AL do so because of hereditary reasons. The good news is treatment options are available for improving the appearance and longevity of teeth succumbing to the effects of AL.
Early Treatment Is Most Effective
Taking steps to have your child's teeth examined at an early age is vital for the most effective treatment of AL. When a child has AL, his or her primary teeth do not develop enamel, the protective outer shell on the teeth. Some kids also experience the absence of enamel on their secondary (permanent) teeth. Without enamel, your child's teeth are vulnerable to external risk factors like bacteria in plaque that causes tooth decay. In most cases of AL left untreated or with treatment started at a late stage of the disorder's progression, children lose many of their teeth to cavities.
Treatment Options For AL
Temporary crowns can be the best way to cover your child's teeth while they are still growing and developing. If other problems are present in addition to AL like malocclusions or teeth coming in high up in the gums, orthodontic braces can be placed on the temporary crowns for straightening the teeth. You should keep in mind that complete and effective treatment for AL will take a few years, more or less, depending on your child's age and how advanced AL and other dental issues are for him or her. Once the teeth are straightened enough to take off the braces, your child's dental health provider can examine the teeth to determine if it is a good time to remove the temporary crowns. Once the temporary crowns are removed, permanent porcelain crowns can be put on. Permanent crowns will act as your child's natural teeth and can last up to twenty-five years.
Taking Care Of Existing Cavities
If your child already has cavities because of AL, his or her dentist will extract the teeth that have them. In small, children, implants are not a good idea, so areas of tooth loss are worked around until your child is old enough for dental implants to be an option for tooth replacement.
If you have a history in your family that includes AL, starting your child out early at the dentist's office is the best way to catch it as early as possible. Visit websites like http://valleyoakdentalgroup.com/ for more information.