EVALUATION OF PATTERNS OF IMPACTED THIRD MOLARS AND THEIR ASSOCIATION WITH VITAL STRUCTURES BY RADIOGRAPHIC EXAMINATION
Objective: To assess the patterns of impacted 3rd molars and their proximity with adjacent vital structures.
Study Design: Comparative cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Oral & maxillofacial department of Rawalpindi Dental Hospital, from Oct 2016 to
Methodology: Patient sample size was 956. Orthopantomograms (OPGs) were assessed to determine the presence, patterns of impacted third molars and their relation to maxillary sinus and inferior alveolar canal (IAC) in maxilla and mandible respectively.
Results: Out of 956 Orthopantomograms with 3499 3rd molars examined, 808 (23.09%) were impacted. Frequency of impaction was much higher in mandible than maxilla. Out of 527 impacted mandibular 3rd molars 238 (45.16%) were mesio-angular, 370 (70.21%) had class 1 relation to mandibular ramus & 266 (50.47%) had level B depth, while among 281 impacted maxillary third molars 134 (47.69%) had vertical angulation and 162 (57.65%) had level B depth. Two hundred and eighty four (53.89%) impacted mandibular 3rd molars showed relationship with the inferior alveolar canal, out of which 187 (35.48%) impacted mandibular 3rd molars showed interruption of white line as the most common radiographic finding.
Conclusion: Frequency of impacted third molars was more common in mandible and among females whereas
there is significant difference in patterns of impaction among mandible and maxilla. While most impacted teeth
have approximation with IAC and maxillary sinus.