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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Amelogenesis imperfecta

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Your Question

What is the treatment protocol for amelogenesis imperfecta? Is fluoride supplementation useful for "hardening" the enamel of the teeth of individuals affected by this condition?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is amelogenesis imperfecta?

Amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) (amelogenesis - enamel formation; imperfecta - imperfect) is a disorder that affects the structure and appearance of the enamel of the teeth.[1] This condition causes teeth to be unusually small, discolored, pitted or grooved, and prone to rapid wear and breakage. These dental problems, which vary among affected individuals, can affect both primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. There are 4 main types of AI that are classified based on the type of enamel defect. These 4 types are divided further into 14 subtypes, which are distinguished by their specific dental abnormalities and by their pattern of inheritance.[1] AI can be inherited in an autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked recessive pattern.[2]
Last updated: 12/12/2013

How might amelogenesis imperfecta be treated?

Treatment depends on the type of amelogenesis imperfecta and the type of enamel abnormality.[3][4] Treatments include preventative measures, various types of crowns, as well as tooth implants or dentures in the most severe cases.  The social and emotional impact of this condition should also be addressed.[5]
Last updated: 8/1/2011

Does fluoride help to "harden" the teeth of individuals with amelogenesis imperfecta?

Although our search of the medical literature has not found information to support any benefit from the use of fluoride in individuals with amelogenesis imperfecta, we strongly recommend that you discuss this option with a dental professional.   
Last updated: 1/4/2010