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Influence of third molar space on angulation and dental arch crowding

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The influence of the third molars on mandibular incisor crowding has been extensively studied but remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether, in Mongolian subjects, the lower third molar can affect anterior crowding and/or the inclination of teeth in the lower lateral segments. Panoramic radiographs, 45° oblique cephalograms, and dental casts were taken from Mongolian subjects (age range 18.3–24.1 years, mean 21.0 years) exhibiting impaction of all four third molars and an Angle Class I molar relationship. The Ganss ratio was calculated using panoramic radiographs, whereas the gonial angle and angulation of lower canines, premolars and molars were measured using 45° oblique cephalograms. Little’s index of irregularity was calculated using dental casts. Significant relationships between the angulation of the third and second molars and between the first molars and second premolars were found. Conversely, there was no significant correlation between the angulation of third molars, first premolars and canines. The Ganss ratio calculations showed that the lower first and second molars and the second premolars inclined mesially if there was insufficient space for the lower third molars. However, there was no significant correlation between Little’s index of irregularity and third molar angulation. Furthermore, although the third molar influences the lateral segments, no obvious relationship between the third molar and anterior crowding was observed. Therefore, the angulation of the third molar appears not to cause anterior crowding.

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The support of the research staff at both the Health Science University of Mongolia and the Nippon Dental University School of Life Dentistry Tokyo and Niigata are gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Yuh Hasegawa.

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Hasegawa, Y., Terada, K., Kageyama, I. et al. Influence of third molar space on angulation and dental arch crowding. Odontology 101, 22–28 (2013).

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