Dental Arch Space Changes Following Premature Loss Of Primary First Molars: A Systematic Review

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to consider the available evidence regarding premature loss of primary molars and the implications for treatment planning. Methods: Electronic database searches were conducted—including published information available until July 2007—for available evidence. A methodological quality assessment was also applied. Results: Although a significant number of published articles had dealt with premature primary molar loss, only 3 studies (including a total combined sample of 80 children) had the minimal methodological quality to be considered for this systematic review. Conclusion: A reported immediate space loss of 1.5 mm per arch side in the mandible and 1 mm in the maxilla—when normal growth changes were considered—was found. The magnitude, however, is not likely to be of clinical significance in most cases. Nevertheless, in cases with incisor and/or lip protrusion or a severe predisposition to arch length deficiency prior to any tooth loss, this amount of loss could have treatment implications.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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