Risk factors for tooth loss in an adult population: a radiographic study

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The aim of the present study was to estimate the incidence and identify risk factors for tooth loss during a 5-year period in a randomly selected Danish population.

Material and Methods

In 1997 and 2003, 473 randomly selected adults received a full-mouth radiographic examination. The total number of teeth was 12,444. For each tooth, the following information was recorded from the radiographs: marginal bone level, filling, crown, root canal post, root filling, apicectomy, periapical status and caries lesion. Unconditional and conditional logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors for tooth loss.


During the study period, 107 teeth in 60 individuals were lost. On the individual level, reduced marginal bone level and apical periodontitis (AP) were highly associated with tooth loss. On the tooth level, a reduced marginal bone level, AP and apicectomy were strongly associated with tooth loss. Canines were not lost often, whereas tooth loss was more frequently observed in molars and premolars than in incisors.


A reduced marginal bone level and AP were associated with tooth loss over time. Furthermore, there was a higher risk of tooth loss in the posterior regions than in the anterior region.

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