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J Prosthodont. 2007 Nov-Dec;16(6):495-501. Epub 2007 Aug 2.

Occlusal changes following posterior tooth loss in adults. Part 2. Clinical parameters associated with movement of teeth adjacent to the site of posterior tooth loss.

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Restorative Dentistry, Leeds Dental Institute, Leeds, UK.



Much anecdotal evidence is available on tooth positional changes following loss of an adjacent tooth, but only a few studies are available. In Part 1 of this series, supraeruption was assessed and Generalized Linear Models were made to determine the clinical parameters associated with the supraeruptive process. The models demonstrated that clinical parameters were not only associated with the extent of supraeruption, but also with the type of eruption present. This investigation of tooth positional changes adjacent to sites of posterior tooth loss attempts to provide increased understanding of the magnitude, direction, and associated features that may be helpful in decision making and treatment planning in the clinical setting.


One hundred patients with an unopposed posterior tooth, with 100 age, sex, and bone level matched controls, were drawn from patients undergoing routine restorative care at Leeds Dental Institute. Study models were scanned, and the extent of eruption, type of eruption of the unopposed tooth, the overbite, overjet, buccal occlusion, and degree of crowding in the dentition, tipping, rotation, and buccal movement of the teeth associated with the edentulous site were recorded. Generalized Linear Models were developed to examine associations between each tooth movement and patient or dental factors.


A statistical significance in the degree of tipping of teeth both mesial and distal to the extraction site was detected between the subject and control groups. There was also a significant difference in rotation of the tooth mesial to the site. Four Generalized Linear Models were produced of the types of non-vertical movements found in teeth associated with sites of tooth loss.


Teeth adjacent to the site of tooth loss may undergo non-vertical movements. Teeth mesial to the extraction site had a tendency to tip distally. The degree of tipping was increased in upper teeth and in subjects with a cusp-to-cusp buccal occlusion. Rotation of teeth mesial to the extraction site was more prevalent in the lower arch. Tipping of the tooth distal to the extraction site could be extreme and was found to be more prevalent in subjects with a reduced (Code 1) overbite and in the lower arch. Rotation of teeth distal to the extraction site was greater in the upper arch and was also associated with a reduced (Code 1) overbite. It also had an association with rotation of the tooth mesial to the extraction site. Models of non-vertical movement are likely to be of limited value due to overdispersion, indicating a high degree of variability within the model.

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