Many studies have established dental age standards for different populations; however, very few studies have investigated whether dental development is stable over time on a population level. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze changes in dental maturity in Dutch children born between 1961 and 2004. We used 2,655 dental panoramic radiographs of 2- to 16-year-old Dutch children from studies performed in three major cities in the Netherlands. Based on a trend in children born between 1961 and 1994, we predicted that a child of a certain age and gender born in 1963 achieved the same dental maturity on average, 1.5 years later than a child of the same age born 40 years later. After adjusting for the birth year of a child in the analysis, the regression coefficient of the city variable was reduced by 56.6% and it remained statistically significant. The observed trend from 1961 to 1994 was extrapolated to 9- to 10-year-old children born in 2002-2004, and validation with the other samples of children with the same characteristics showed that 95.9%-96.8% of the children had dental maturity within the 95% of the predicted range. Dental maturity score was significantly and positively associated with the year of birth, gender, and age in Dutch children, indicating a trend in earlier dental development during the observation period, 1961-2004. These findings highlight the necessity of taking the year of birth into account when assessing dental development within a population with a wider time span. Copyright

age estimation, age standards, anthropology, dental maturity, year of birth,
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Vučić, S, de Vries, E, Eilers, P.H.C, Willemsen, S.P, Kuijpers, M.A.R, Prahl-Andersen, B, … Ongkosuwito, E.M. (2014). Secular trend of dental development in Dutch children. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 155(1), 91–98. doi:10.1002/ajpa.22556