ROLE OF MANDIBULAR THIRD MOLAR IN MANDIBULAR CONDYLAR FRACTURE
Mandibular condylar fracture is one of the most common fractures of mandible. Presence or absence of mandibular third molar is an important risk factor in addition to various other factors. Presence of unerupted mandibular third molar concentrates the stress in angle region leading to its fracture while, in absence of unerupted third molar, forces are diverted towards condyle making it more vulnerable to injury. The objective of this study was to evaluate role of unerupted mandibular third molar in reducing incidence of condylar fracture. A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted at the department of Oral & Maxillofacial surgery, Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad, on 150 patients having condylar fractures over a period of eighteen months. Data on patients demographics, side of condylar fracture and status of mandibular third molar was obtained and observed. Total number of hemimandibles under study was 175. In 120 patients i.e. 68.6% mandibular third molar was erupted while, in 55 patients i.e. 31.4%, mandibular third molar was unerupted. The results concluded that presence of unerupted mandibular third molar reduces incidence of condylar fracture by 2.2 times so prophylactic removal of these teeth in practice should be discouraged.
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