3-D Classification of Lower Third Molars and their relations
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This novel classification of mandibular third molars aims to provide a more holistic description of parameters defining 3D mandibular third molar (M3M) position, as well as its spatial relation to relevant neighboring structures.

The purpose of this study was to develop a novel classification making full use of radiographic 3D-information to describe the position, geometric configuration of a mandibular third molar (M3M), and its spatial relation to neighboring structures such as the mandibular canal (MC).

A total of eight parameters were included in the classification including position, the craniocaudal height, the number of roots of the M3M as well as its spatial relationship to the MC, its course, its deformation, and distance to the M3M. The classification was retrospectively applied to a sample of 483 patients and these data were statistically evaluated.

--The most commonly observed categories were: the (+ ) vertical position (39.8%); the craniocaudal height A (38.7%); two roots (83.2%); and the spatial relationship no contact caudal (37.5%).

--Contact between the M3M and inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) was observed in 58% of all cases.

--Deformation of the MC was found in 81% of cases.

The classification presented in this study helps to establish a common language and serves as a framework for further studies e.g. on 3D-parameters influencing prognosis of the M3M and level of difficulty associated with its removal. It creates a uniform terminology that can be applied in practice by surgeons and radiologists.

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2021.02.033