Sneha Shinde, Sagar Ingole, Shweta Bhayade, Sapnil Gaidhankar


Background: Mandibular third molars are the last tooth to calcify and the space for eruption has always remained unpredictable. The lack of availability of retromolar space has lead to failure of eruption of mandibular third molars.So it is important to understand its calcification and its association with retromolar space in order to ensure its normal eruprion and prevent impaction.

Objective: To assess the correlation  between calcification stages of the mandibular third molars and retromolar space.

Materials and Methods: The material included pretreatment lateral cephalographs of 100

orthodontic patients 0(49 males and 51 females). The molar formation stage was assessed through the method of Nolla, which rates the degree of calcification on a scale of 10 stages. The retromolar space was measured from the most concave point of the anterior border ofthe ramus to the distal surface of the first molar (used because the second molars had  not yet erupted in the younger patients).


Statistical analysis-Retro-molar distance was correlated with Stage of development by Spearman’s correlation coefficient. The methods of retromolar distance measurement were correlated with each other by Intra class correlation coefficient.


Results: The formation stage advanced with age, but wide standard deviations were noted.

Similarly, the retromolar distance increased with age and was greatest between 14 and 15years.High and statistically significant correlations were observed betweenAge and retromolar distance (r=0.54  p< 0.001),Age and stage of development (r=0.74  p<0.001),Stage of development and retromolar distance (r=0.67  p< 0.001).


Conclusions:The correlation between mandibular third molar calcification and available retromolar spaceessentially represents the association between dental formation and mandibular skeletal growth. The findings do not necessarily conclude the  successful emergence or nonimpaction of the molars. Longitudinal data are needed for further research.


Third molar; Dental age; Retromolar space.

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