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Eur J Orthod. 2012 Aug;34(4):487-92. doi: 10.1093/ejo/cjr027. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Diagnostic performance of dental maturity for identification of skeletal maturation phase.

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Department of Biomedicine, School of Dentistry, University of Trieste, Italy.


The objective of this study is to analyse the diagnostic performance of the circumpubertal dental maturation phases for the identification of individual-specific skeletal maturation phases. A total of 354 healthy subjects, 208 females and 146 males (mean age, 11.1 ± 2.4 years; range, 6.8-17.1 years), were enrolled in the study. Dental maturity was assessed through the calcification stages from panoramic radiographs of the mandibular canine, the first and second premolars, and the second molar. Determination of skeletal maturity was according to the cervical vertebra maturation (CVM) method on lateral cephalograms. Diagnostic performances were evaluated according to the dental maturation stages for each tooth for the identification of the CVM stages and growth phases (as pre-pubertal, pubertal, and post-pubertal) using positive likelihood ratios (LHRs). A positive LHR threshold of 10 or more was considered for satisfactory reliability of any dental maturation stage for the identification of any of the CVM stages or growth phases. The positive LHRs were generally less than 2.0, with a few exceptions. These four teeth showed positive LHRs greater than 10 only for the identification of the pre-pubertal growth phase, with values from 10.8 for the second molar (stage E) to 39.3 for the first premolar (stage E). Dental maturation assessment is only useful for diagnosis of the pre-pubertal growth phase, and thus, precise information in relation to the timing of the onset of the growth spurt is not provided by these indices.

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