A radiographic assessment of the prevalence of pulp stones in Australians

Aust Dent J. 2002 Mar;47(1):36-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2002.tb00301.x.


Background: Pulp stones are discrete calcified bodies found in the dental pulp. The aims of this study were to calculate the prevalence of pulp stones in young Australian adults using radiographs, and to report any associations between occurrence of pulp stones and sex, tooth type, dental arch, side and dental status.

Methods: From 217 undergraduate dental students, comprising 123 males and 94 females aged between 17-35 years, 3296 teeth were examined under 2x magnification on bitewing radiographs. Pulp stones were scored as present or absent, and associations with sex, tooth type, dental arch, side and dental status noted.

Results: Pulp stones were found in 100 (46.1 per cent) of the subjects and 333 (10.1 per cent) of the teeth examined. Occurrences were rare in premolars (0.4 per cent) but significantly higher in molars (19.7 per cent). Pulp stones were significantly more common in first molars than in second molars, and in maxillary first molars than in mandibular first molars. Carious and/or restored maxillary right first molars and maxillary left second molars displayed higher prevalences of pulp stones than unrestored and intact molars.

Conclusion: Pulp stones may provide useful forensic information when examining dental records to identify deceased persons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Bicuspid / pathology
  • Dental Pulp Calcification / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dental Pulp Calcification / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molar / pathology
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography
  • Sex Factors