Maturation of the permanent teeth in a Western Cape sample
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The need for in-depth knowledge of dental emergence and calcification in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning cannot be disputed. Serial extractions, treatment timing, bite opening and closing, expansion and various other orthodontic procedures cannot be successfully executed without an in depth knowledge of the calcification and eruption of teeth. Besides its orthodontic implications, dental calcification and eruption plays a significant role in physical anthropology, forensic odontology, endocrinology and nutrition (Demirjian, 1978). Forensic scientists are agreed that teeth constitute the most important and reliable means for determining age from approximately 10 week in utero to old age (Altini, 1983). It is a generally accepted fact that there is no correlation between biological age and chronological age (Prahl-Andersen and Van der Linden, 1972; Demirjian, 1978), an aspect, which will be discussed in further detail later in the review of the literature. Biological age is seen to be a more accurate indicator of an individuals maturity than chronological age (Moorees et al, 1963; Prahl-Andersen and Van der Linden, 1973; Oemirjian et al, 1973). However, allocating a biological age to an individual is not an easy exercise as no definite consensus has, to date, been reached regarding the best method of determining biological age (Moorees et al, 1963; Garn et al, 1967; Demirjian, 1978). Today, many different methods are being used to establish this, for example bone age, height, menarche, circumpubertal growth and dental age.