Amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) refers to a group of rare, inherited disorders characterized by abnormal enamel formation. The term is restricted to those disorders of enamel development not associated with other defects of the body. In AI, the layer of enamel is thin so that the teeth appear to be discolored, showing the color of the materials under the enamel. The teeth usually appear brown or some variant of that color.
Clinical researchers usually classify AI into four main types of which 14 subtypes are recognized. The main types are based on enamel effects and the subtypes are based on clinical appearance and mode of inheritance. The main types are: hypoplastic (Type 1); hypomaturation (Type II); hypocalcified (Type III); and hypomaturation/hypoplasia/taurodontism (Type IV). Amelogenesis imperfecta may be inherited as an X-linked, autosomal dominant, or autosomal recessive genetic trait, depending on the type.
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