Cleidocranial Dysostosis And Your Child's Teeth: What Parents Need To Know

It's not particularly common for a child to be diagnosed with cleidocranial dysostosis, and the condition is only seen in approximately one out of a million people. The condition affects bone and dental development, and many people with cleidocranial dysostosis have poorly-developed collarbones, with the final closing of their skull (anterior fontanelle) often delayed, as opposed to happening during infancy. Abnormal dental development is a hallmark of the condition, and it's likely that your child will need various forms of dentistry to give them an appropriate level of dental functionality. What sort of assistance might your child's teeth need?  

Supernumerary Teeth

Cleidocranial dysostosis won't necessarily prevent the growth of your child's primary (baby) teeth. However, these standard teeth can be combined with a number of supernumerary teeth, which are simply extra teeth. These supernumerary teeth can erupt anywhere on the upper or lower dental arch, although they're usually misaligned, preventing them from properly functioning as teeth. 


Supernumerary teeth are typically extracted. This permits the proper dental care of your child's standard primary teeth while reducing overcrowding and minimizing any dental malocclusion (misalignment of the bite). The removal of supernumerary teeth can also encourage the proper eruption of your child's permanent teeth, as the presence of these extra teeth can physically block this eruption. If necessary, your child will receive dentures at this time. These dentures will need to be periodically replaced, as your child is still growing, and so will soon outgrow their dentures.

Adult Teeth

Ideally, the removal of supernumerary teeth will clear the path for the normal development of permanent teeth, but these permanent teeth may fail to develop properly. They might be absent entirely, or might be malformed (often taking on a peg-like shape). A more permanent dental solution can generally be determined once the development of your child's adult teeth is underway.

Dental Prosthetics

Absent teeth can be replaced with a dental prosthesis. Dental implants are the preferred permanent tooth-replacement system, but these are reliant on sufficient bone density to be successful, and cleidocranial dysostosis can affect bone density. Bone grafting can overcome this, but it won't be suitable for all patients. Dentures and dental bridges are other options, although bridges often require abutment (support) teeth, so a bridge can be dependent on the successful development of appropriately-sized adult teeth.

Other Considerations

Prospective abutment teeth can be reinforced with dental crowns to give them the necessary strength to support a dental bridge. Dental crowns can also be utilized for non-abutment teeth, if simply to conceal any malformation, improving the tooth's aesthetics and functionality. Some form of protective treatment might be required for all adult teeth that might erupt, as a dental enamel deficiency is common for people with cleidocranial dysostosis. This protective treatment can take several forms, such as a sealant or dental bonding. 

As you may have realized, correcting the dental issues associated with cleidocranial dysostosis is an ongoing process that must be tackled at various stages. Although it's a considerable effort, it's necessary to ensure the ultimate functionality and look of your child's teeth.

To learn how dentistry can help your child's condition, talk to a dentist in your area.