PDF: Mandibular Third Molar Impaction: Review of Literature and a Proposal of a Classification

Impaction of mandibular third molars is a common condition related with different difficulty degree of extraction operation and risk of complications, including iatrogenic trigeminal nerve injury.

According to Elsey and Rock impaction of the third molar is occurring in up to 73% of young adults in Europe.

Generally, third molars have been found to erupt between the ages of 17 and 21 years. Furthermore, third molar eruption time have been reported to vary with races. 

For example, mandibular third molars may erupt as early as 14 years of age in Nigerians, and up to the age of 26 years in Europeans.
The average age for the eruption of mandibular third molars in male is approximately 3 to 6 months ahead of females. 

Most authors claim that the incidence of mandibular third molar impaction is higher in females.

The purpose of present article was to review impacted mandibular third molar aetiology, clinical anatomy, radiologic examination, surgical treatment and possible complications, as well as to create new mandibular third molar impaction and extraction difficulty degree classification based on anatomical and radiologic findings and literature review results. 

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