Interventions to facilitate the successful eruption of impacted maxillary incisor teeth due to the presence of a supernumerary: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Jadbinder Seehra, Khalid Mortaja, Fidaa Wazwaz, Spyridon N. Papageorgiou, Jonathon T. Newton, Martyn T. Cobourne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: A failure of maxillary incisor eruption is commonly attributed to the presence of a supernumerary tooth. This systematic review aimed to assess the percentage of impacted maxillary incisors that successfully erupt after surgical removal of supernumerary teeth with or without other interventions. Methods: Systematic literature searches without restrictions were undertaken in 8 databases for studies reporting any intervention aimed at facilitating incisor eruption, including surgical removal of the supernumerary alone or in conjunction with additional interventions published up to September 2022. After duplicate study selection, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment according to the risk of bias in nonrandomized studies of interventions and Newcastle-Ottawa scale, random-effects meta-analyses of aggregate data were conducted. Results: Fifteen studies (14 retrospective and 1 prospective) were included with 1058 participants (68.9% male; mean age, 9.1 years). The pooled eruption prevalence for removal of the supernumerary tooth with space creation or removal of the supernumerary tooth with orthodontic traction was significantly higher at 82.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 65.5-93.2) and 96.9% (95% CI, 83.8-99.9) respectively, compared with removal of an associated supernumerary only (57.6%; 95% CI, 47.8-67.0). The odds of successful eruption of an impacted maxillary incisor after removal of a supernumerary were more favorable if the obstruction was removed in the deciduous dentition (odds ratio [OR], 0.42; 95% CI, 0.20-0.90; P = 0.02); if the supernumeraries were conical (OR, 2.91; 95% CI, 1.98-4.28; P <0.001); if the incisor was in the correct position (OR, 2.19; 95% CI, 1.14-4.20; P = 0.02), at the level of the gingival third (OR 0.07; 95% CI, <0.01-0.97; P = 0.04) and had incomplete root formation (OR, 9.02; 95% CI, 2.04-39.78; P = 0.004). Delaying removal of the supernumerary tooth 12 months after the expected eruption time of the maxillary incisor (OR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.10-1.03; P = 0.05) and waiting >6 months for spontaneous eruption after removal of the obstacle (OR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.03-0.50; P = 0.003) was associated with worse odds for eruption. Conclusions: Limited evidence indicated that the adjunctive use of orthodontic measures and removal of supernumerary teeth might be associated with greater odds of successfull impacted incisor eruption than removal of the supernumerary tooth alone. Certain characteristics related to supernumerary type and the position or developmental stage of the incisor may also influence successful eruption after removal of the supernumerary. However, these findings should be viewed with caution as our certainty is very low to low because of bias and heterogeneity. Further well-conducted and reported studies are required. The results of this systematic review have been used to inform and justify the iMAC Trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-608
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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