Revue Belge de Médecine Dentaire vol:59 issue:3 pages:215-21
Based on data obtained from a prospective epidemiological study in a random sample of 4468 Flemish children, accurate emergence ages for permanent teeth could be established. When data on permanent tooth emergence in different populations are compared, differences are most pronounced for premolars. Several authors hypothesised that this difference could be explained by a difference in caries experience in the primary molars. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effect of caries experience in a primary molar on the timing of emergence of its successor. The results indicate that the emergence of the premolars was accelerated by 2 to 8 months when its predecessor had been decayed and or filled 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.