Prevalence of impacted third molars: a radiographic study among a North African population


Sinda Yacoub
Nouha Dammak
Soumaya Zaalouni
Mohamed Amine Hrizi
Mohamed Ben Khelifa


Introduction : Third molars are the most commonly concerned teeth with the impaction. Impacted third molar (ITM) can be associated to various clinical pathologies

Aim : To determine the prevalence of ITM, its pattern and associated affections in Tunisian patients.

Methods:  The study reviewed panoramic radiographs of patients consulting the Fattouma Bourguiba University Hospital, Monastir (Tunisia). Orthopantomograms were analyzed to define the prevalence of ITM; its angulation, depth and relation with the anterior border of mandibular ramus. Associated pathologies were also assessed.

Results: Seven hundred and thirty patients were included (286 men and 444 women). The age ranged from 19 to 89 years. Half of the patients (50.3%) showed at least one ITM. The total number of ITM was 881 with a statistical difference between arches (respectively 34.3% and 65.7% in the maxilla and in the mandible). The most common number of ITM was two (35.4%). Level C of impaction was observed more frequently in the maxilla and level A in the mandible. The most common angulation was the vertical one for both arches. Seventy six percent of ITM were presented with class II in relation with the anterior border of mandibular ramus. There was no significant difference in the frequency of impaction between gender and sides. The number of ITM associated with pathological conditions was 199 (22.6%). The most frequently observed pathology was the distal caries on the second molars (11.7%) followed by the caries of the third molars (5.2%).

Conclusion : The prevalence...( abstract truncated at 250 words).


Teeth, Denture retention, Orthopantomographs, Tunisia



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