Amelogenesis imperfecta

Amelogenesis imperfecta is when a person’s teeth are covered with thin, malformed enamel.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Amelogenesis imperfecta is an inherited condition that is transmitted as a dominant trait. It causes the enamel of the tooth to be soft and thin. Because the dentin is visible through the thin enamel, the teeth appear yellow and are easily damaged. Both baby teeth and permanent teeth are affected.


  • Yellowish to dark-appearing teeth with thin enamel.  
  • Easily abraded enamel  
  • Abnormal tooth color

Signs and tests
A dentist can identify and diagnose the condition.

The treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Full crowns will improve the appearance of the teeth and protect them from damage.

Expectations (prognosis)
Treatment is often successful in protecting the teeth.

The enamel is easily fractured and damaged, which affects the appearance of the teeth, especially if left untreated.

Calling your health care provider
Call your dentist if you have symptoms of this condition.

Genetic counseling may be of interest to prospective parents.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 2, 2012
by Arthur A. Poghosian, M.D.

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