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

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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