A preferable technique for protecting the inferior alveolar nerve: coronectomy

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2009 Jun;67(6):1234-8. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2008.12.031.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of coronectomy for teeth whose root apices are very close to the inferior alveolar canal.

Patients and methods: The 43 patients of this study needed removal of their lower third molar, whose root apices were very close to the inferior alveolar canal. These patients underwent 47 coronectomies.

Results: The mean follow-up period was 9.3 months (range, 1 to 48 months). The mean total amount of root movement was 3.4 mm at 6 months, 3.8 mm at 12 months, and 4.0 mm at 24 months.

Conclusions: The technique of coronectomy is defined as removing the crown of a tooth but leaving the roots untouched, so that the possibility of nerve damage is reduced. Coronectomy is a preferable technique for patients who run a risk of injury to the inferior alveolar nerve during third molar surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mandibular Nerve / pathology
  • Molar, Third / diagnostic imaging
  • Molar, Third / innervation
  • Molar, Third / surgery*
  • Radiography, Panoramic
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Tooth Apex / diagnostic imaging
  • Tooth Apex / innervation*
  • Tooth Crown / surgery*
  • Tooth, Impacted / diagnostic imaging
  • Tooth, Impacted / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trigeminal Nerve Injuries*
  • Young Adult