Volume 15, Number 3, September 2003

Presence of the Third Molar as a Risk Factor in Mandibular Angle Fractures


Atsushi Kasamatsu,1,2 Toshihide Watanabe,1 Harusachi Kanazawa1

1Division of Dentistry and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kimitsu Chuo Hospital, and 2Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan

Abstract
Objective: To assess the influence of the presence and position of the mandibular third molar on the incidence of mandibular angle fractures.
Patients and Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of 240 mandibular fractures in 151 patients from August 1993 to July 2002. The presence and degree of impaction of mandibular third molars were assessed for each patient and related to the occurrence of mandibular angle fractures.
Results: Forty eight patients (43.2%) had mandibular angle fracture among 111 patients with mandibular third molars and 5 patients (12.5%) had mandibular angle fracture among 40 patients without mandibular third molars. The incidence of mandibular angle fractures was significantly higher when the mandibular third molar was present (p = 0.0004). There was a statistically significant variation in the risk for the occurrence of mandibular angle fractures depending on state of eruption of the mandibular third molar (p = 0.005).
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that patients with mandibular third molars are significantly more susceptible to mandibular angle fracture than those without mandibular third molars.

Key words:
Mandibular fracture, Risk factor, Third molar

Asian J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2003;15:176-180.

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