Prevalence of infraocclusion of primary molars determined using a new 2D image analysis methodology

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Abstract

Background:

The reported prevalence of infraocclusion varies widely, reflecting differences in definitions and measurement/scoring approaches. This study aimed to quantify the prevalence and extent of infraocclusion in singletons and twins during the late mixed dentition stage of dental development using a new diagnostic imaging method and objective criteria. The study also aimed to determine any associations between infraocclusion and gender, arch type, arch side and tooth type.

Methods:

Two samples were analysed, 1454 panoramic radiographs of singletons and 270 dental models of twins. Both samples ranged in age from 8 to 11 years. Adobe Photoshop CS5 was used to measure the extent of infraocclusion. Repeatability tests showed systematic and random errors were small.

Results:

The prevalence in the maxilla was low (<1%), whereas the prevalence in the mandible was 22% in the singleton sample and 32% in the twin sample. The primary mandibular first molar was affected more often than the second molar. There was no significant difference in the expression between genders or sides.

Conclusions:

A new technique for measuring infraocclusion has been developed with high intra- and interoperator reproducibility. This method should enhance early diagnosis of tooth developmental abnormalities and treatment planning during the late mixed dentition stage of development.

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