Tooth eruption is considered to be delayed if emergence of a tooth into the oral cavity occurs at a time deviating significantly from norms established for the person’s sex and ethnic background.
Generally, a permanent tooth should erupt no later than 6 months after natural exfoliation of its predecessor, but a delay of up to 12 months may be of little or no importance in an otherwise healthy child.
Therefore, most practitioners consider eruption delayed only if the interval extends to more than 1 year.
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Eruption of a tooth is considered to be delayed (i.e., the tooth is impacted) when all of the following conditions exist:
a. The normal time for eruption has been exceeded.
b. The tooth is not present in the dental arch and shows no potential for eruption.
c. The root of the unerupted tooth is completely formed.
d. The homologous tooth has been erupted for at least 6 months.
Case Report . Diagnosis
A preadolescent girl (9 years, 2 months of age) and her mother presented to a private practice. The patient was “missing a front permanent tooth,” a situation that was esthetically displeasing to both the child and the mother.
A supernumerary tooth had been extracted when the patient was 7 years of age, and she had been advised to await eruption of the permanent successor tooth.
Clinical examination at the time of the current presentation revealed good oral health and mixed dentition.
The patient was advanced in terms of dental age, and the right maxillary central incisor, both lateral incisors, the first premolars and the first molars were all fully erupted. However, the left maxillary central incisor was unerupted, and there was a slight loss of space.
Seema B. Shah, BDS, MFDS RCS (Eng); Gajanan Kulkarni, BDS, LLB, MSc, D Ped Dent, PhD, FRCD(C)