Context: Dental enamel is the hardest and highly mineralized structure in human body. However, Developmental Enamel Defects (DEDs) may occur due to an interplay between multiple factors ranging from genetic inadequacy to environmental insults. Primary enamel defects provoke the local or systemic insults that the child might undergo pre-, peri- and post-natally. Several gene mutations and environmental factors, including systemic illnesses have already been identified that can permanently imprint enamel damage. The DED may appear as enamel hypoplasia or hypomineralization. Clinically, DED often presents problems of aesthetics and stained defects, tooth sensitivity, susceptibility to dental caries, erosion and tooth wear. Evidence Acquisition: An electronic search was conducted on PubMed, Cochrane, ScienceDirect and Clinical Key databases with the focus on articles published since 2000. The following keywords were applied: “Developmental Enamel Defect (DED)”, “Enamel hypoplasia”, and “Primary teeth”.
Managing the enamel defects involves early diagnosis and aesthetic rehabilitation of defective enamel, while maintaining its form and function. This should involve close cooperation between the paediatricians and the paediatric dentists, so that preventive regimens can be institutionalised at the earliest.
Despite our understanding of DED, further research is required to establish accurate clinical diagnosis and successful treatment of such enamel defects.