Pathology associated with impacted mandibular third molars in a group of Jordanians

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2006 Nov;64(11):1598-602. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2005.11.102.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and type of a group of radiographically detectable pathologic conditions around impacted mandibular third molars in Jordanians.

Patients and methods: A retrospective study of patients referred to the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery unit for surgical removal of impacted mandibular molars. The analysis outcome measures were the patients' age and gender, and any radiographic lesions associated with the impacted mandibular third molars. The following radiographic lesions were recorded in relation to the impacted third molar: caries, pericoronal radiolucent areas, and periapical radiolucent areas, in addition to odontomes, caries in the adjacent second molars, and external resorption of the roots of adjacent mandibular second molars. Bony radiolucent areas were all verified histopathologically.

Results: Impacted mandibular third molars (N = 2,432) from 1,398 patients were examined; 46.4% of third molars showed associated radiographically detected lesions. The most common lesion seen on panoramic radiographs was dental caries. Others included pericoronal radiolucent and periapical radiolucent areas. The majority of periapical radiolucent areas were histologically proven to be chronic periapical inflammation. All pericoronal radiolucent areas were histologically found to be either cysts or tumors. The most common cyst was dentigerous cyst; the most common tumor was ameloblastoma.

Conclusion: A high ratio of impacted mandibular third molars in this group of Jordanians had an associated pathologic lesion.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ameloblastoma / complications
  • Dental Caries / complications
  • Dentigerous Cyst / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jordan
  • Male
  • Mandible
  • Mandibular Diseases / complications
  • Mandibular Neoplasms / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Molar, Third / diagnostic imaging
  • Molar, Third / pathology*
  • Periapical Periodontitis / complications
  • Pericoronitis / complications
  • Radiography, Panoramic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Root Resorption / complications
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Tooth, Impacted / complications*
  • Tooth, Impacted / diagnostic imaging
  • Tooth, Impacted / pathology*