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Keywords:

  • primary incisors;
  • dental trauma;
  • coronal discoloration

Abstract –  The purpose was to evaluate late complications of asymptomatic traumatized primary incisors with dark coronal discoloration. The clinical and radiographic signs of 97 teeth of the study group were recorded along a follow-up period that ranged between 12 and 75 months (mean >36 months). Children's age at time of injury ranged between 18 and 72 months (mean 40). The control group consisted of 102 non-discolored maxillary primary central incisors in 51 children older than 54 months with no history of dental trauma. In 50 teeth (52%) the color faded or became yellowish and in 47 (48%) it remained dark. Clinical signs of infection, that were diagnosed 5–58 months after the injury, were associated significantly more with dark than yellowish hues (83 and 17%, respectively). Teeth that had changed their color to become yellow presented more PCO than teeth with black/gray/brown coronal discoloration (78 and 6%, respectively). Arrest of dentine apposition was found in 15 teeth, one had yellow coronal discoloration and the remaining 14 had a dark shade. Eleven teeth showed inflammatory root resorption all with dark discoloration. Two atypical types of root resorption were observed: a surface resorption restricted to the lateral aspects of the apical half of the root while the root length remained unchanged and in the other expansion of the follicle of the permanent successor was observed. Expansion of the dental follicle was observed in 72% of all teeth with no significant difference between the various types of coronal discoloration but only half of the cases were associated with resorption of the root of the primary incisor. The various pathologic findings observed in the study group were either absent or rarely seen in the control group. It can be concluded that more than 50% of the primary incisors that retain their dark coronal discoloration acquired after dental injuries remain clinically asymptomatic till the eruption of the permanent successor even if they present accelerated root resorption. Asymptomatic traumatized primary incisors that retain their dark coronal discoloration may develop a sinus tract and inflammatory root resorption years after the injury. There is still a dilemma: which treatment is better for dark discolored primary incisors: early endodontic treatment or follow-up with the risk of development of infection and root resorption that may require extraction?