Supernumerary teeth in a sample of South African dental patients
Keywords:Supernumerary tooth, panoramic radiographs, prevalence, morphology, location, eruption status, orientation, orthodontic complications.
Supernumerary teeth (SNT) are often associated with malocclusions. Data on SNT in the South African population are not well documented. To determine the prevalence, distribution of characteristics and any associated complications of SNT in a South African
sample of dental patients. The study was retrospective, cross-sectional and descriptive. Method: Orthopantomographs of 12,005 dental patients were reviewed for the presence of SNT. The number, morphology, location, eruption status and orientation of SNT were assessed. Associated orthodontic problems were noted. The prevalence rate was 2.48%. No sexual dimorphism in the distribution of SNT was noted. Types of SNT tabulated were: supplementary, conical, tuberculate and odontoma. Maxilla demonstrated a higher predilection for SNT. Variation in the distribution of SNT in the anterior, premolar and molar regions in each jaw and across jaws was statistically significant. Relationship of eruption status to the morphology and orientation of SNT was of significance. Malocclusions
noted were displacement and impaction of adjacent teeth. From an orthodontic perspective, presence of SNT may compromise tooth movement and space closure in patients. Additionally, as majority of SNT in this population were in the maxillary molar and mandibular premolar regions, caution is advised when planning the placement of orthodontic implants in these regions.
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