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Diagnostic performance of individual and combined canine and second molar maturity for identification of growth phase.

BACKGROUND: The objective of this research is to analyze the diagnostic performance of the circumpubertal dental maturation stages of the mandibular canine and second molar, as individual teeth and in combination, for the identification of growth phase. METHODS: A total of 300 healthy subjects, 192 females and 108 males, were enrolled in the study (mean age, 11.4±2.4 years; range, 6.8 to 17.1 years). Dental maturity was assessed through the calcification stages from panoramic radiographs of the mandibular canine and second molar. Determination of growth phase (as pre-pubertal, pubertal, and post-pubertal) was carried out according to the cervical vertebral maturation method. The diagnostic performances of the dental maturation stages, as both individual teeth and in combination, for the identification of the growth phase were evaluated using positive likelihood ratios (LHRs), with a threshold of ≥10 for satisfactory performance. RESULTS: For the individual dental maturation stages, most of these positive LHRs were ≤1.6, with values≥10 seen only for the identification of the pre-pubertal growth phase for canine stage F and second molar stages D and E, and for the post-pubertal growth phase for second molar stage H. All of the combined dental maturation stages yielded positive LHRs up to 2.6. CONCLUSIONS: Dental maturation of either individual or combined teeth has little role in the identification of the pubertal growth spurt and should not be used to assess timing for treatments that are required to be performed at this growth phase.