Aim. The aim of the study was to evaluate the cervical vertebral maturation and dental age, in group of patients with coelic disease (CD), in comparison with a control group of healthy subjects.
Methods. At the Paediatric Dentistry Unit of PTV Hospital, “Tor Vergata” University of Rome, 120 female patients, age range 12.0-12.9 years were recruited. Among them, 60 subjects (Group 1) were affected by CD, while the control group (Group 2) consisted of 60 healthy subjects, sex and agematched. The Group 1 was subdivided, according to the period of CD diagnosis, in Group A (early diagnosis) and Group B (late diagnosis). The skeletal age was determined by assessing the cervical vertebral maturation, while the dental age has been determined using the method codified by Demirjiyan.
Statistics. The analyses were performed using the SPSS software (version 16; SPSS Inc., Chicago IL, USA). In all the assessments a significant level of alpha = 0.05 was considered.
Results. There are no statistically significant differences between Group 1 and Group 2 as for chronological age (p=0.122). Instead, from the assessment of skeletal-dental age, there are statistically significant differences between Group 1 - Group 2 (p<0.001) and Group A - Group B (p<0.001). The statistical analysis carried out to assess the differences between chronological and skeletal-dental age within the single groups, show a statistically significant difference in Group 1 (p<0.001) and in Group B (p<0.001), while there are no statistically significant differences in Group 2 (p=0.538) and in Group A (p=0.475). A correlation between skeletal and dental age was registered; for Groups 1-2 and for Groups A-B the Pearson coefficient was respectively equal to 0.967 and 0.969, with p<0.001. Through the analysis of data it is possible to assess that the percentage of subjects with skeletal and dental age delay corresponds to 20% in healthy subjects, 56.7% in coeliac subjects, 23% in coeliac subjects with early diagnosis and 90% in coeliac subjects with late diagnosis. From the comparison between Group 2 and Group A there are no statistically significant differences (p=0.951). Conclusions. The skeletal age and dental age delay may be two predictive indexes for a CD diagnosis. The dental age and cervical vertebral maturity can be assessed with a low cost, non invasive, easy to perform exam carried out through the routine radiographic examinations such as orthopanoramic and lateral teleradiography.