Purpose: This investigation stemmed from preliminary clinical observations from a school dental clinic, which suggested that a proportion of clinically undetected, radiolucent lesions on radiographs may originate as pre-eruptive intracoronal dentin defects. This study investigated the prevalence of such defects in orthopantomograms from a group of children and young adults.
Methods: A total of 1281 orthopantomograms with 11,767 unerupted permanent teeth were examined.
Results: The prevalence of intracoronal dentin defects was 3% by subjects, and 0.5% by teeth; the highest prevalence being noted in the maxillary and mandibular first permanent molars. Most of the lesions occurred singly, and nearly half had extended to greater than two-thirds the width of dentin thickness. Ectopic positioning was significantly associated with this lesion.
Conclusions: Pre-eruptive intracoronal dentin defects occur at a significant prevalence rate. Increased awareness of this entity may improve diagnosis and allow early treatment.