Radiographic evaluation of third molar genesis in Greek orthodontic patients
Georgia Barka,1 Konstantinos Marathiotis,2 Michael Protogerakis,3 Andreas Zafeiriadis4
1Department of Dentoalveolar Surgery, Implant Surgery and Radiology, School of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2School of Biology, Faculty of Science and School of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; 3Clinical Implant Dentistry, School of Dental Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK; 4Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Objectives: The study reported here investigated the first radiographic evidence of third molar (M3) formation, their incidence and distribution as well as their congenital absence on the right or the left side in either the maxilla or the mandible, in both male and female Greek orthodontic patients.
Materials and methods: A total of 618 panoramic radiographs were initially examined. After the application of inclusion/exclusion criteria, the group finally selected consisted of 428 patients (mean age 11.64 years, range 5–18): 179 males (mean age 11.73 ± 2.46) and 249 females (mean age 11.57 ± 2.45). The collected data were analyzed using SPSS software (IBM, Armonk, New York, NY, USA). The level of significance for all analyses was set to p = 0.05. The chi-square (χ2) test was used to assess the relationships between variables. The Wilcoxon’s signed-rank test and the Mann–Whitney U test were also used for comparisons as well as the Spearman’s rho test for correlations.
Results: M3s were first detected in females at the age of 7 years whereas males followed one year later at the age of 8 years. A strong correlation between age and M3 development was revealed for both sexes (Spearman’s rho = 0.177, p = 0.05). Presence of all four M3s was the most common incidence (present in 70.8% of study subjects), followed by the agenesis of two (12.1%), agenesis of all four (8.4%), one (6.8%), and three (1.9%) M3s. Congenitally missing M3s in all subjects showed a significantly greater predilection for the maxilla over the mandible (19.6% and 15.5%, respectively) (Wilcoxon signed-rank test Z = −2.404, p = 0.016). However, the distribution was found equal between the two sides of the jaws. The difference between the absent frequencies of M3s in the mandible and the maxilla was found statistically significant for the total sample (McNemar’s test, p < 0.001) and for males (p = 0.041) as well.
Conclusion: The study data may provide a reference for the M3 genesis in Greeks.
Keywords: dental genesis, maxilla, mandible
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