Influence of Unerupted Third Molars on Angle and Condyle Fracture

Sérgio Lins de-Azevedo-Vaz, Maria Beatriz Carrazone Cal Alonso, Thiago de Oliveira Gamba, Anne Caroline Costa Oenning, Francisco Haiter-Neto


Condylar and angle fractures are the most common types of mandibular injuries. There is evidence in the literature suggesting that the presence of unerupted lower third molars increases the risk of angle fracture and reduces the chance of condyle fracture. The present paper reports on a case of a 19-year-old Caucasian man who had bilateral angle fracture associated with the two lower unerupted third molars. No other fracture was detected on the panoramic radiograph. This case suggests that unerupted lower third molars increase the risk of angle fracture whereas preventing condyle fracture. Reduction of the bone mass of the angle in the presence of third molars and disruption of the oblique ridge with partially erupted molars support our findings. As the treatment of condyle fracture is more complex, it might not be appropriate to strengthen the mandibular angle, making the mandible more vulnerable to condylar fractures by means of prophylactic extraction of asymptomatic unerupted third molars.



Third molar, unerupted tooth, mandibular fractures, panoramic radiograph.

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