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J Oral Pathol Med. 1997 Nov;26(10):464-9.

Effect of non-erupted third molars on roots of approximal teeth. A radiographic, clinical and histologic study.

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Department of Periodontology, Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


This study was undertaken to evaluate clinically and histologically root resorption in extracted human second molars in close proximity to non-erupted third molars. The control group consisted of extracted second molars that were proximal to fully erupted third molars. Eight out of the 11 teeth in the study group presented different degrees of radiographic root resorption, nine presented clinical resorption, and all 11 had histologic evidence of root resorption. In the control group, no signs of root resorption were seen radiographically or clinically. Histologically, limited sites of resorption were identified in all teeth, which were partially repaired by cellular cementum. Histologic observation of study specimens revealed root surface resorption in 10 out of the 11 teeth, one showing replacement resorption as well. Inflammatory resorption was observed in the three most advanced cases in the study group. Reparative cementum partially lining resorbed areas was evident in all teeth with surface resorption. Within the limits of this study, radiographic identification of distal root resorption of second molars in close proximity to non-erupted third molars appears reliable. The findings may support the hypothesis that the presence of a non-erupted third molar in close proximity to the distal root of the second results in root resorption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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