Journal of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 129–141 | Cite as

Third Molar and Their Relationship with Caries on the Distal Surface of Second Molar: A Meta-analysis

  • José Cristiano Ramos Glória
  • Carolina Castro Martins
  • Anna Catharina Vieira Armond
  • Endi Lanza Galvão
  • Cássio Roberto Rocha Dos Santos
  • Saulo Gabriel Moreira Falci
Review Paper



The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine which characteristics of mandibular third molars (MTMs) are more often associated with an increase in the prevalence/incidence of caries on the distal surface of mandibular second molars (MSMs).


Three electronic databases were analyzed: PubMed; OVID and the Virtual Health Library. Observational studies were included, and the risk of bias was assessed using The Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. The Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software program was used for meta-analysis.


Fifteen studies were included in this systematic review, and five were included in the meta-analysis. The distal surface of MSMs were more likely to exhibit caries in the following scenarios: when MTMs were found in the A position, rather than the C position (OR: 3.45, 95% CI: 2.28-5.22, p<0.001); when the horizontal position was compared with the vertical (OR: 8.12, 95% CI: 3.75-17.58, p<0.001) and distoangular (OR: 9.75, 95% CI: 3.49 – 27.25, p<0.001) positions; and when the mesioangular position was compared with the vertical (OR: 7.25, 95% CI: 3.48-15.10, p<0.001) and distoangular (OR: 9.54, 95% CI: 3.47 – 26.21, p<0.001) positions.


The results of this study suggest that the presence of MTMs increases the incidence of caries on the distal surface of MSMs. Furthermore, caries on the distal surface of MSMs is more commonly associated with position A and horizontal and mesioangular mandibular molars.


Molar Third Dental caries Oral surgery Impacted tooth 



The authors would like to thank the FAPEMIG (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais) for scholarship.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Cristiano Ramos Glória
    • 3
  • Carolina Castro Martins
    • 1
  • Anna Catharina Vieira Armond
    • 3
  • Endi Lanza Galvão
    • 2
  • Cássio Roberto Rocha Dos Santos
    • 3
  • Saulo Gabriel Moreira Falci
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Dentistry and OrthodonticsUniversidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)Belo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Pesquisas René RachouFundação Oswaldo CruzBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Department of DentistryUniversidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri (UFVJM)DiamantinaBrazil
  4. 4.Hospital Santa Casa de Caridade de DiamantinaDimantinaBrazil

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