European journal of oral sciences vol:111 issue:2 pages:106-10
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of caries experience in a primary molar (decayed and/or restored vs. extracted) on the timing of emergence of its successor. Data were obtained from a longitudinal epidemiological study in a sample of 4468 Flemish children. Survival analyses with log-logistic distribution were performed to calculate median emergence ages and 95% confidence intervals (CI); caries experience was added as a covariate. The results indicate that the emergence of the maxillary and mandibular premolars was accelerated by 2-8 months when its predecessor had been decayed and or restored but had not been extracted. Premature loss of maxillary primary molars resulted in a significant acceleration of the emergence of the premolars; this was not observed in the mandible. In conclusion, when considering permanent tooth emergence ages, caries experience in the primary dentition should be taken into account.