In dentistry, anodontia, also called anodontia vera, is a rare genetic disorder characterized by the congenital absence of all primary or permanent teeth. It is associated with the group of skin and nerve syndromes called the ectodermal dysplasias. Anodontia is usually part of a syndrome and seldom occurs as an isolated entity.
Anodontia is the congenital absence of teeth and can occur in some or all teeth (partial anodontia or hypodontia), involve two dentitions or only teeth of the permanent dentition (Dorland's 1998). Many denominations are attributed to this anomaly: partial anodontia, hypodontia, oligodontia, the congenital absence, anodontia, bilateral aplasia. Anodontia being the term used in controlled vocabulary Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) from MEDLINE which was developed by the United States National Library of Medicine. The Anodontia of at least one permanent tooth is the most common dental anomaly and may contribute to masticator dysfunction, speech impairment, aesthetic problems, and malocclusion (Shapiro and Farrington 1983). Absence of lateral incisors represents a major stereotype. Individuals with this condition are perceived as socially most aggressive compared with people without anodontia (Shaw 1981).
Partial anodontia, known as hypodontia or oligodontia, is the congenital absence of one or more teeth. Congenital absence of all wisdom teeth, or third molars, is relatively common.