Predicting Agenesis of the Mandibular Second Premolar from Adjacent Teeth.
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Early diagnosis of agenesis of the mandibular second premolar (P2) enhances management of the dental arch in the growing child. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship in the development of the mandibular first molar (M1) and first premolar (P1) at early stages of P2 (second premolar). Specifically, we ask if the likelihood of P2 agenesis can be predicted from adjacent developing teeth. We selected archived dental panoramic radiographs with P2 at crown formation stages (N = 212) and calculated the likelihood of P2 at initial mineralisation stage 'Ci' given the tooth stage of adjacent teeth. Our results show that the probability of observing mandibular P2 at initial mineralisation stage 'Ci' decreased as both the adjacent P1 and M1 matured. The modal stage at P2 'Ci' was P1 'Coc' (cusp outline complete) and M1 'Crc' (crown complete). Initial mineralisation of P2 was observed up to P1 'Crc' and M1 stage 'R½' (root half). The chance of observing P2 at least 'Coc' (coalescence of cusps) was considerably greater prior to these threshold stages compared to later stages of P1 and M1. These findings suggest that P2 is highly unlikely to develop if P1 is beyond 'Crc' and M1 is beyond 'R½'.