Prevalence of Third Molars and Pathological Changes Related to Them in Dental Medicine
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of third molars in terms of respondents’ age. Furthermore it was desired to determine the extent of the manifestation of pathological changes, such as caries, apical lesions, and alveolar bone resorption. This study was based on 500 OPGs of patients from the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Zagreb. Patients were divided into seven age groups. The total number of molars, the number of cavities on remaining molars, the quality of endodontic treatment and the evaluation of their performance and presence of periapical lesions was analyzed. As a part of the periodontal status, the number of inadequate fillings, the number of damaged furcations and bone resorption was analyzed. The statistical analysis was performed by means of STATISTICA 7 statistical package (StatSoft, Tulsa, USA). The correlation between the total number of molars and the age of patients was analyzed by means of Spearman's correlation to the level of significance of 0.05. The number of first, second and third molars significantly decreased in higher age groups. The prevalence of caries in third molars as compared to first and second molars was generally lower, third molars were endodontic treated at least. Assessment of involved furcations showed that the lowest percentage of 8% was found in third molars. The majority of all remaining molars had bone resorption of 1-3 mm.
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