May 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry


Dept. of Pediatric Dentistry


Oregon Health & Science University


Even in the year 2007 dental decay is the most common childhood disease. Carious teeth can lead to abscess development and the need for tooth extraction prior to the age of normal exfoliation. In an ideal situation, following the extraction a space maintainer is placed immediately or shortly after the procedure. However, this does not always occur. Without a space maintainer the adjacent teeth would be expected to drift into the open space. Although space loss occurs in many instances, there are also patients in which a significant amount of tooth movement does not occur. Why do some children loose space following a premature primary molar extraction, while others do not? The purpose of this research is to evaluate if an individual's mandibular plane angle has an association with the propensity to loose or maintain space following the premature loss of a primary molar. This was accomplished via evaluation of cephalometric radiographs and initial study casts from orthodontic patients at Oregon Health and Science University.




School of Dentistry



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