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Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry Official publication of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-62

Prevalence of dental anomalies in deciduous dentition and its association with succedaneous dentition: A cross-sectional study of 4180 South Indian children

Department of Paedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Narayana Dental College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication31-Jan-2017

Correspondence Address:
G Shilpa
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Narayana Dental College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-4388.199228

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Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of dental anomalies in primary dentition of Indian population. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 4180 children in the age of 2–6 years. Anomalies were classified based on Kreiborg criteria. The term “double tooth” was used to avoid misinterpretation between gemination. and fusion. Patients having radiographs were also examined for associated dental anomalies in permanent dentition. The occurrence and gender prevalence were evaluated using descriptive statistics. Results: About 95. (2.27%) children exhibited at least one dental anomaly. Thirty.seven children showed 51 missing teeth. (0.88%), mostly in lower right incisors with a statistically significant difference between arches. (P = 0.0056) Nine children. (0.21%) had supernumerary teeth commonly in the right maxilla. Two cases of oligodontia. (0.04%) and talon cusps. (0.04%) and one case of triple tooth. (0.02%) were observed. Forty children. (0.95%) had 43 double teeth mostly in the right mandible with a statistically significant difference between the arches. (P = 0.0105). No significant difference was observed based on gender and arch, but they were statistically significant between the right and left sides. (P = 0.018). Among the children with radiographs available, 45% showed anomalies in the succedaneous dentition. Conclusions: The prevalence rates of children with double tooth, hypodontia, and hyperdontia in our study are 0.95%, 0.88%, and 0.21%, respectively. The overall prevalence rate of anomalies among boys was higher than girls.

Keywords: Dental anomalies, double tooth, hypodontia, supernumerary teeth

How to cite this article:
Shilpa G, Gokhale N, Mallineni SK, Nuvvula S. Prevalence of dental anomalies in deciduous dentition and its association with succedaneous dentition: A cross-sectional study of 4180 South Indian children. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2017;35:56-62

How to cite this URL:
Shilpa G, Gokhale N, Mallineni SK, Nuvvula S. Prevalence of dental anomalies in deciduous dentition and its association with succedaneous dentition: A cross-sectional study of 4180 South Indian children. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Dec 2];35:56-62. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2017/35/1/56/199228

   Introduction Top

Dental anomalies in children can lead to an increased risk of dental problems from esthetic to orthodontic problems. Estimation of prevalence based on children attending as dental outpatients would be a misjudgment in developing countries. Therefore, it is not surprising to find no published data on the prevalence of dental anomalies in South Indian children. The reported prevalence of overall dental anomalies in primary dentition in various studies ranges from 0.4% to 8.1%.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11] The prevalence studies are useful to understand the magnitude of problems and in the formulation of oral health care programs. They would also lead to increased awareness among the dental faculty, which would help in early diagnosis and comprehensive management of these children. There have been only a few reported studies on the prevalence of dental anomalies in primary dentition.

In developing countries like India with a grouping of social, cultural, and religions, a vast economic gap exists between the poor and malnourished and affluent children. They would also help in the comparison of rates between races, countries, etc., which would help in predicting the possible etiological factors. These studies would also help geneticists and anthropologists in their comparison studies. Nonetheless, the purpose of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of dental anomalies in South Indian children.

   Materials And Methods Top

This cross-sectional study was conducted in children in the age group of 2–6 years attending various nurseries and primary schools (run by government and private organizations) in the rural and urban sectors of South India. The Institutional Research and Ethical Committee approved the proposal of this study. Among 170 primary schools in the rural and urban sectors, 64 schools were included in the present study. Children were examined during the school hours after taking permission from school authorities. Clinical examination was performed to record dental anomalies. All the children were examined using a mouth mirror and a probe. Children with systemic anomalies were excluded from the study. The parents of children with dental anomalies were informed, and with their consent, further evaluation was done at the department of pedodontics and preventive dentistry using radiographs. Parents were counseled regarding the anomaly and the need for regular follow-up. The nomenclature proposed by Kreiborg criteria for dental anomalies was used in our study with the following modifications.[12]

  1. The following definitions from Kreiborg criteria were followed:

    1. Supernumerary: Presence of an extra tooth
    2. Hypodontia: Absence of one or more teeth
    3. Microdontia: A single tooth smaller than normal.

  2. We have used the term “double tooth” as suggested by Carvalho et al.[10] and “triple tooth” as used by Knapp and McMahon [13] to describe anomalies with abnormally large teeth irrespective of the presence or absence of normal complement. These terminologies have been chosen for the following reasons:

    1. To avoid the difficulty and lack of accuracy that exists in differentiating between fusion and gemination based on clinical features alone [4],[5]
    2. Various definitions for gemination in literature [8],[11]
    3. Possibility of geminated tooth with hypodontia, supernumerary tooth (ST) fused to a normal, and other differentials, as suggested by Knezevic et al.[14]
    4. Similar treatment modalities for geminated/fused teeth.

    The double teeth were further classified into the following types based on crown and root morphology as used by Aguilo et al. This classification was chosen as it has a clinical relevance in management.[15]

    • Type I: Bifid crown-single root
    • Type II: Large crown-large root
    • Type III: Two fused crowns-double conical roots
    • Type IV: Two fused crowns-two fused roots.

  3. Oligodontia: Absence of more than six teeth.[16]

Clinical and radiological findings were correlated. The correlation between primary and permanent dentition was also documented. Supernumerary teeth were classified based on location, shape, and orientation. The classification of supernumerary teeth into mesiodens, paramolar, and distomolar, which is widely used in permanent dentition, cannot be strictly followed in primary dentition because of the terminology used. We have used the number of children with anomalies in the numerator for the calculation of prevalence rates in our study. Statistical analysis was done to find the significance of differences between genders' side and location using Chi-square tests and tests of proportion (Z-test).

   Results Top

A total of 4180 children (boys: 2473 and girls: 1707) were involved in the present study. Age of the children ranged from 3½ to 6 years. At least one dental anomaly was present in 95 (2.27%) patients. A total of 143 anomalies (missing tooth: 82, double tooth: 48, supernumerary: 10, talon cusp: 2, and triple teeth: 1) were found in 95 children. The overall prevalence rate of anomalies among boys was 2.5% (n = 62) and girls was 1.9% (n = 33). [Table 1] shows the demographic variables and distribution of cases according to gender, site, and side. Distribution of anomalies by number of children and type of anomalies is shown in [Figure 1].
Table 1: Demographic variables and statistical significances for overall anomalies

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Figure 1: Distribution of anomalies by type of anomalies (n = 143)

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Forty children presented with 43 double teeth with a prevalence rate of 0.95% (40/4180; boys: 25 and girls: 15). The most common location was the right mandible. There was statistically significant difference between mandibular and maxillary arches (28 vs. 15) (Z = 2.58 at 95% confidence interval [CI], P = 0.0105). There was no significant difference between the right and left sides (26 vs. 17) (Z = 1.72, P = 0.085). There were three cases with bilateral symmetrical double tooth. In 15 cases, the radiological images could not be obtained because of reasons such as parents giving no consent and transfer of some students. On radiological evaluation of 25 cases, there were 12 children with missing teeth (common site - right mandibular) and 1 child with ST in succedaneous dentition. The details of cases with double teeth are summarized in [Table 2]. Two cases presented with talons cusp with a prevalence rate of 0.04% (male: 1, female: 1), and in both the cases, the anomaly was seen on the left side in the maxillary arch. Thirty-seven children presented 51 missing teeth with a prevalence rate (hypodontia by number of children) of 0.88% (37/4180). The prevalence among boys (1.02%) is double that of girls (0.5%) that is not statistically significant (P = 0.08). Out of the 37 children, 10 (27%) showed more than one tooth missing; with 8 of them showing two missing teeth (7 with bilateral and 1 with unilateral missing teeth) and each of the other 2 children showing four missing teeth (1 had all the four anterior missing teeth in mandibular arch and 1 showed bilateral missing teeth in maxillary arch and two teeth missing on the same side in mandibular arch). Apart from these, there were two cases of oligodontia (with 14 missing teeth in each case). There was no significant difference between the right and left sides (25 vs. 26) (Z = 0). The missing teeth were twice more common in mandibular arch when compared to maxillary arch (33 vs. 18), the difference being statistically different (Z = 2.77 at 95% CI, P = 0.0056). The most common missing tooth was the right mandibular lateral incisor followed by the left mandibular lateral incisor (31%). There were six children with available radiographs, among which two had missing teeth in the succedaneous dentition also. The details are summarized in [Table 3].
Table 2: Distribution of double teeth by gender, region, location, and type (43 in 40 children)

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Table 3: Distribution of hypodontia by gender, region, location, and type (51 missing teeth in 37 children

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The overall prevalence rate of ST was 0.21% (9/4180) (male: 6, female: 3), with the most common site being the right maxilla. All the nine patients showed ST in the maxillary arch with eight of them on the right maxilla. Seven of the cases were supplemental type and two were conical ST. Eight children showed normal orientation and one child showed transverse orientation. Out of these nine cases, two patients showed supernumerary and one patient showed missing teeth in the succedaneous dentition.

This study showed 12 cases of bilateral anomalies (0.28%), with 3 children presenting bilateral double teeth and 9 with bilateral missing teeth. Four children (0.09%) presented with more than one type of anomaly (three with double tooth and missing tooth and one with double tooth and ST). One case showed diagonal presence of (maxillary and mandibular) double teeth, one case (case 3) showed solitary median maxillary central incisor syndrome, and two cases showed missing teeth in the succedaneous dentition.

Radiological images were available for 44 cases (25 cases of double teeth, 9 cases of ST, 6 cases of hypodontia, and 4 cases of multiple anomalies) of our study. Out of these, 20 (45%) cases consisting of 13 with double tooth, 3 with ST, 2 with hypodontia, and 2 with multiple anomalies showed anomalies in the succedaneous dentition also. Seventeen cases showed hypodontia (85%) and three cases (two with supernumerary teeth and one with double tooth) had ST.

   Discussion Top

Dental anomalies and “Evolution”

Dental anomalies have been reported since ancient times. There are reports of dental anomalies in several anthropological studies. A supernumerary lateral incisor has been reported from a 1.7 million year old hominid fossil of Australopithecus robustus found in a cave of South Africa.[17] Missing lateral incisors have been reported from Iron age Southeast Asians.[18] Bennazi et al. have recently reported a case of triple teeth in a five-year- old child discovered in a late medieval cemetery in Italy.[19] Dental anomalies have been of major concern in various species including domestic animals such as horses and dogs. Presence of anomalies will affect the chewing and thereby nutrition of these animals. The Merck veterinary manual [20] clearly mentions about anodontia and supernumerary teeth in dogs (canines) and horses (incisors and molars). Well aligned dentition plays a predominant role in the smile, which is the unique feature of human beings standing at the top of evolution. Human beings with a 'dentition” that has contributed to their success in evolution are susceptible to various kinds of dental anomalies due to developmental, genetic, environmental and other factors.

Embryology of Dental Anomalies

Malformation of teeth can be classified according to the size, shape, number, and structure. During the early bell stage (14th week), the dental lamina starts breaking down and degenerates. The enamel organ looses connection with the oral epithelium. According to the dental lamina hyperactivity theory, a supplemental form of supernumerary tooth (ST) will develop from the lingual extension of an accessory tooth bud whereas a rudimentary form would develop from the proliferation of the epithelial remnants of the dental lamina.[21] Gemination develops due to partial cleavage or complete division of tooth germ. Fusion occurs due to the union of two adjacent tooth germs. Hypodontia develops due to arrest of tooth development in the bud stage.

There were a lot of debits of fusion and gemination; consequently, various studies have started using the term “double tooth” to indicate both fusion and gemination. Over the last one decade, the terminology of “double tooth” is widely in usage to avoid the confusion of gemination versus Fusion, especially gemination and ST fused to a normal tooth. Therefore, we have used the term double tooth (irrespective of the number of teeth) to define various anomalies such as fusion, gemination, gemination with hypodontia, and supernumerary fused to a normal tooth, which are very difficult to distinguish clinically. The cause of double tooth (DT) may be inheritance and local factors such as crowding or trauma. DT is more common in primary dentition when compared to permanent dentition. Our study reports a prevalence of 0.95%. There is a significant variation in the prevalence rates of various geographical regions. The studies reported by Yonezu et al. from Japan and King from Hong Kong have reported a prevalence of 4.1% each, which are the highest rates reported till date.[9],[21] In most of the studies, there has been no gender difference though we found a greater prevalence in boys. In our study, most of the DT were in the mandibular arch. Kramer et al. reported a significant difference of mandibular double teeth over maxillary double teeth.[11] Aguilo et al. and Järvinen reported no significant difference between the arches.[15],[22] Studies in primary dentition show no significant difference between the right and left sides though we found a predominance of DT on the right side. In our study, we found three children with more than one DT. Aguilo et al. in their retrospective study on 6000 children found more than one DT in three children (one contiguous and two bilateral).[15]

The prevalence of ST in primary dentition is lower when compared to permanent dentition. According to Brabant, hyperdontia in the primary dentition has been in existence since the end of the Neolithic period.[23] Various etiological factors for ST have been proposed: Atavism, dichotomy of tooth germ, hyperactive dental lamina, which is the most favored theory,[24],[25] genetic (autosomal recessive with incomplete penetrance or autosomal dominant variety), and multifactorial. Rajab et al. reported that only 2 out of 152 cases with ST were in the age group of 5–6 years (mean age - 10.1 ± 1.9 years).[24] De Oliveira Gomes et al. reported that 22 out of 305 patients with ST were in 3–6 years age group (mean age of 9.3 years).[26] In a study reported from Hong Kong with 208 children with ST and a mean age of 7.3 ± 2.7 years, 42 children were with primary dentition.[27] Salem has studied 2393 children in the age group of 4–12 years and reported a prevalence rate of 0.5%.[28] Kramer et al. have reported a prevalence rate of 0.3% in their study on 1260 children in the age group of 2–5 years.[11] King et al. in their study on 936 children aged 5 years reported a prevalence of 2.8%.[21] Osuji et al. reported that in 1878 children, there is no mention of the mean age group, but the prevalence of ST in primary dentition was 0.58% (11/1878).[29] Whittington reported a prevalence of 0.17% in a survey on 1680 5-year-old children.[8] The reported prevalence of ST in primary dentition in literature ranges from 0.2% (in Caucasians) to 2.8%.[21] The prevalence rate of 0.23% in our study is comparable to the prevalence rate in most of the studies. Male predominance in our study (3:2) is similar to other studies. Bolk et al. classified ST into mesiodens, paramolars, and distomolar, strictly cannot be applied in primary dentition.[30] It is difficult to compare ST by location in various studies in primary dentition because of absence of a uniform classification that could apply only to primary dentition. In our study, the ST were predominantly located in the right maxillary arch associated with central and lateral incisors. There were no cases of ST in the mandibular arch in our study. Kramer et al. have reported ST in mandibular arch in only one case in their series.[11] Supernumerary teeth can also be classified based on the morphology (conical, tuberculate, supplemental, and odontoma) and orientation (normal, inverted, transverse, and ectopic position). Multiple supernumerary teeth are rare (prevalence <1%) and are usually associated with syndromes such as cleft lip and palate, Gardner's syndrome, and cleido-cranial dysplasia.[24],[31] Cases of bilateral supernumerary teeth have also been reported.[26],[31] There are no cases of multiple or bilateral supernumerary teeth in our study. Recently, Mallineni and Nuvvula have proposed a detailed classification for supernumerary teeth, based on location, position, morphology, and orientation.[32] Supernumerary teeth in primary dentition are often overlooked because of normal shape, eruption, and alignment due to the available spacing. Supernumerary teeth in primary dentition usually lead to crowding. In our study, we found that in one case, ST was responsible for a crossbite of the adjacent lateral incisor.


Polygenic inheritance and environmental factors (invasive and noninvasive factors) have been implicated in hypodontia.[33] Prevalence rate of hypodontia in primary dentition ranges from 0.4% to 4.6%.[21] Clayton and Yonezu have reported high prevalence rates of 4.6% and 2.4%, respectively.[2],[9] Hypodontia could be nonsyndromic or syndromic when it is associated with several syndromes such as ectodermal dysplasia, Reiter's syndrome, Schwartz–Jampel syndrome, and holoprosencephaly.[34] Recent studies have shown an increase in the prevalence of hypodontia in the 20th century.[35] This wide range of difference could be due to the various age groups included in these studies and geographical location (literature shows a high prevalence of hypodontia in Japan when compared to other countries). The prevalence of hypodontia in our study is 0.88%. Most of the studies on primary dentition show no statistically significant gender difference for missing teeth. Nonetheless, the prevalence rate is higher among girls when compared to boys in all these studies. In contrast, the prevalence among boys in our study is high. The most common missing tooth in our study is lower right lateral incisor. In most of the studies, missing teeth are more common in the maxillary arch. In our study, we found a predominance of missing teeth in the mandibular arch. Kramer et al.[11] also have found a similar predominance in mandibular arch (9 out of 14 teeth in their series). Daugaard-Jensen et al.[36] in their study have analyzed the children (1.2–9 years) by the number of missing teeth and found 87 out of 193 (45%) with more than one tooth missing.{45} In our study, we found that 27% of the children with hypodontia had more than one tooth missing. There are no studies on hypodontia with a clear analysis of bilateral missing teeth. Kramer et al. have reported that two out of eight children in their series had bilateral missing teeth.[11] Symmetrical occurrence has been reported to be higher in boys when compared to girls. In our study, the prevalence of bilateral missing teeth was equal between boys and girls. We had a very rare case with a finding of missing bilateral central mandibular incisors. Children with simultaneous occurrence of more than one anomaly have been analyzed in our study, and we found a prevalence of 0.09% (4/4180). Four of them had a double tooth associated with either a hypodontia or ST.

Talon Cusps

Talon cusp refers to a rare developmental dental anomaly characterized by a cusp-like structure projecting from the cingulum area or cement–enamel junction.[37],[38] This condition can occur in the maxillary and mandibular arches of the primary and permanent dentitions.[39] In the present study only talon cusps with a prevalence rate of 0.04% (male: 1, female: 1) observed and in both the cases the anomaly was seen on the left side in the maxillary arch. The exact etiology of talon cusp has not been stated clearly in the literature.[37],[38],[39]

Various studies have shown that in children with primary dentition anomalies, about 60% of them had anomalies of succedaneous teeth.[40] In cases of hypodontia, almost 100% of them had corresponding missing succedaneous teeth. This finding supports the ectodermal mucosal defect as an etiological factor for missing teeth.[8]

In case of double teeth, about 53%–60% of the cases are reported to have anomalies in the succedaneous dentition.[41],[42] As observed in our study, the most common anomaly in succedaneous dentition in the presence of double tooth in primary dentition is hypodontia followed by hyperdontia. Children with supernumerary teeth demonstrated anomalies in succedaneous dentition in 50%–85% of the cases.[43],[44] In our study, 45% of the cases (in those with available radiographs) with primary dentition anomalies had anomalies in succedaneous dentition also. Knowledge on the prevalence of dental anomalies in primary dentition of Indian subcontinent has not been clearly documented. It gives knowledge on different anomalies of primary dentition and their influence on their successors so that anticipatory guidance can be done.

   Conclusions Top

The overall prevalence rate of primary dentition anomalies in our study is 2.27%, which is comparable with most of the reported prevalence rates. This is the first prevalence study based on 4180 children from India. Double tooth has been the most common anomaly in our study. Classification of double tooth into four types helps in planning appropriate treatment. High prevalence of missing teeth in boys and in mandibular arch in our study is in contrast to other studies. We have reported the prevalence rates for triple teeth, oligodontia, and bilateral and multiple anomalies in our study, which would help in comparative studies. Analysis of the succedaneous dental anomalies in children with primary dental anomalies would help in comparative and etiological studies.

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   References Top

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