An examination of proportional root lengths of the mandibular canine and premolars near the time of eruption.
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INTRODUCTION: To make treatments more efficient, orthodontists require a more precise means of estimating tooth eruption. The purpose of this article was to extend the information derived from dental staging techniques by incorporating direct measurements of root lengths for 3 mandibular teeth: the canine and the 2 premolars. METHODS: The full sample consists of 227 panoramic films from 77 female patients and 229 films from 74 male patients treated at a practice in Texas. A subsample of paired preeruption and posteruption films was examined in greater detail (46 subjects for the canine, 42 for the first premolar, and 46 for the second premolar). RESULTS: Canines will most likely have root length ([root length/total tooth length] 100) of approximately 70% and premolars will have approximately 65% near the time of alveolar eruption. In addition, the walls of the root canal will probably approach a parallel configuration at the time of eruption. CONCLUSIONS: The percentage of root length, along with root canal parallelism, should allow improved prediction of eruption timing.