Introduction: Mandibular angle fractures are very common and are associated with the highest risk of complications. The aim of this study is to evaluate the correlation between impacted lower third molar and mandibular angle fracture complications.
Material and methods: All patients presenting with a mandibular angle fracture and at least 2 months follow up were retrospectively included. The following complications were recorded: post-traumatic malocclusion, mouth opening limitation, inferior alveolar nerve hypoesthesia, infection, delayed union, hardware loosening. The patients were divided in two groups: impacted lower third molar or erupted/absent lower third molar.
Results: A total of 68 patients were included, lower third molar was impacted in 36 cases and erupted/absent in 32 cases. 40 complications were recorded in 27 patients at 2 months. No statistically significant difference could be found about malocclusion, mouth opening limitation and inferior alveolar nerve hypoesthesia. A lower rate of persistent inferior alveolar nerve hypoesthesia (p = 0.0557) in patients with impacted lower third molar (19.4%) was observed compared to patients without impacted lower third molar (40.6%). There was no occurrence of delayed union and hardware loosening in impacted lower third molar group, whereas 5 delayed unions and 4 hardware loosening were recorded in erupted/absent lower third molar group. Finally, the rate of patients with at least one of the 6 complications is significantly higher in the erupted/absent lower third molar group (17/32, 53.1%) than in the impacted lower third molar group (10/36, 27.8%), p = 0.033.
Discussion: The risk of overall complication is decreased when lower third molar is impacted in mandibular angle fracture. This supports the idea of a role of the impacted lower third molar in fracture reduction and stability.
Keywords: Facial traumatology; Impacted tooth; Lower third molar; Mandibular angle fracture; Mandibular fracture.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.