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Variant root morphology of the third mandibular molar in normal and impacted teeth

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Background: The prevalence of third molar impaction is high across various population.

Extraction of the impacted tooth is usually indicated where there is associated pathology.

Surgical difficulty in extraction is described in various classification, the most commonly used

ones are the Winters and Pell and Gregory. The downside to these classification methods is that

morphology of the roots is not put into consideration. Root morphology is known to influence

the eruption of teeth, therefore it may have a role in impaction of these teeth. The study aims to

describe various root morphologies in different types of impactions and establish any association

between the morphology of the teeth and type of impaction.

Objective: To describe the various root morphologies in different types of third molar impaction

among residents of Nairobi County visiting the School of Dental Sciences. University of Nairobi.

Study design: Descriptive cross-sectional study

Study Population and Study Area: This study will be carried out among patients visiting the
School of Dental Sciences, University of Nairobi.

Materials and methods: 359 panoramic radiographs (179 male and 179 female) will be

obtained from the Radiology Division of the Oral and Maxillofacial department, School of

Dental Sciences, University of Nairobi. The morphology of the roots of the third molar will be

described as straight or dilacerated. The number of roots will also be recorded. The crown and

root lengths will be measured using a Vernier caliper and the root to crown length ratio will be


Data management: Measurements will be coded, tabulated and analyzed using SPSS 17

(version 20.0 Chicago Illinois). Means, standard deviations and variances will be calculated. A

P-value of ~0.05 will be considered significant at a confidence interval of 95%. Data will be

presented in form of graphs, pie-charts and tables. Photographs will be used for pictorial


Study benefits: The root morphology is useful for a surgeon operatingon and around the third
molar region to plan well and in extension enrich the current methods utilized in grading the
surgical difficulty in extraction of the third molar in which the root component has not been

Variant root morphology of the third mandibular molar in normal and impacted teeth.pdf464.73 KB

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