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Indian J Dent Res. 2008 Jul-Sep;19(3):208-12.

Pathosis associated with radiographically normal follicular tissues in third molar impactions: a clinicopathological study.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.



The follicular tissue around impacted third molars has a potential to develop pathosis. However, it is generally assumed that the absence of abnormal radiolucency indicates the presence of a normal follicle.


The aim of this study was to investigate abnormalities associated with radiographically normal follicular tissue of third molar impactions.


One hundred eighty-five impacted third molars from 170 patients with no signs of abnormal radiolucency (follicular space < 3 mm) were used for this study. Follicular tissues of the relevant teeth were collected. Specimens were fixed in 10% formalin and stained routinely with hematoxilin and eosin to be independently examined by two pathologists. A diagnosis was registered only when the results from both pathologists were in concordance. Clinical details for each patient were registered in WHO standard forms to undergo chi-square statistical analysis.


Fifty-three per cent of the specimens had developed pathosis. The incidence of pathosis was higher in the age group of 20-30 years, in men compared to women and in the mandible compared to the maxilla.


The findings of this study suggest that radiographic appearance may not be reliable in the diagnosis of pathosis in follicular tissue as a surprisingly high rate of pathosis was found in the absence of any radiographically detectable sign.

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