Objective: Molar-incisor hypomineralization (MIH) is common in many countries and it has significant impact on treatment need. The aim of the present study was to assess developmental enamel defects with an emphasis to MIH in children from four primary schools in Benghazi, Libya.
Methods: Permanent first molars of a total of 378 (188 females) 7.0-8.9-year-old children were examined for demarcated opacities, diffuse opacities and hypoplasia in their schools using a portable light, a mirror, and a probe. A subgroup of children attending two of the four schools and having all incisors and first molars erupted (N = 154) was examined for enamel defects in these teeth.
Results: Eleven children (2.9%) had MIH. The mean value of demarcated opacities in their first molars was 1.5. MIH lesions were found only in 1.1% of the children's first molars (tooth prevalence) and all lesions were mild. Six children (1.6%) had diffuse opacities and 3 (0.8%) had hypoplastic defects in their first molars. Fourteen out of 154 children (9%) who had both incisors and molars examined had some kind of developmental enamel defect: 11 children (7.1%) had demarcated opacities, 3 (1.9%) had diffuse opacities, and none had hypoplasia.
Conclusion: MIH was rare in Benghazi, Libya. The prevalence was clearly lower than in comparable studies performed in Italy or in Nordic countries, where, according to the earlier reports, MIH is seen in every fifth or sixth child. Our result may be valuable when so far mostly unknown etiology behind MIH is investigated.