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Partial or complete failure of tooth eruption may be due to several causes, including primary failure of eruption (PFE), and an accurate diagnosis is essential for appropriate management. This article reviews PFE and the possible treatment options. Case reports of two patients diagnosed with PFE are presented and their management discussed.
CPD/Clinical Relevance: Primary failure of eruption can be difficult to diagnose and differentiate from other causes of failure of eruption. This paper highlights the clinical presentation of PFE through a review of the literature and by illustration with two clinical cases.
Failure of eruption of first and second molars is rare, with the prevalence estimated at 0.01% for first permanent molars and 0.06% for second permanent molars.1,2 Eruption failure may result from a number of causes. These include mechanical interference with eruption or failure of the eruptive mechanism of the tooth so that the expected amount of eruption does not occur.3 Mechanical failure of eruption (MFE) is characterized by single tooth anklyosis, whereas primary failure of eruption (PFE) is a condition in which unimpeded, non-ankylosed teeth fail to erupt with an absence of systemic factors.3 Primary failure of eruption is diagnosed based on its clinical appearance, which is reported to include the seven features shown in Table 1.3 The last of these clinical features has been disputed. Advances in gene discovery and identification have been able to show a heritable basis of this dental phenotype,4,5,6,7,8 and recently mutations in parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (PTH1R) have been identified in several familial cases of PFE.9
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