Saving the 2nd Molar from the 3rd Is it Really the Guilt of the Tilt?Correspondence Address :
Dr. Preeti Jain Pruthi,
Senior Resident, Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics,
Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Introduction: Clinicians often relate the distal caries in second molars to angulated third molars, which if left undetected can lead to gross decay that may further require removal of the tooth. Due to this fact, many third molars are advised for prophylactic removal to prevent decay in the second molar. But this approach would only be justified when the incidence of decay/loss of second molar due to third molar are reasonably high. We sought to determine incidence of caries experience and also sequel extraction in second molars associated with the third molars.
Aim: The study was conducted to answer the basic question that whether the incidence of caries and subsequent extraction of second molar due to angulated third molars is high enough to justify the prophylactic removal of third molar or not.
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted on radiographic records of 1187 patients. The effect of tilted third molar on the second molar was measured in relation with three parameters namely level & position of third molar with respect to second molar and the distribution among arches.
Results: The results indicated that out of total number of teeth examined only 5.4% of maxillary and 9.6% of mandibular second molars were affected by tilted third molars. Further, only 2.2% of mandibular and 2.9% of maxillary second molars were indicated for extraction. The data was statistically insignificant.
Conclusion: It was concluded that distal caries in second molars is not very common. It may be present in some cases of third molar impactions and prophylactic removal of these impacted teeth may not be considered appropriate.
Distal caries mandibular second molars, Impacted third molar
Pankaj Yadav, Preeti Jain Pruthi, Ruchika Roongta Nawal, Sangeeta Talwar, Mahesh Verma. SAVING THE 2ND MOLAR FROM THE 3RD IS IT REALLY THE GUILT OF THE TILT?. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research [serial online] 2016 May [cited: 2018 Apr 22 ]; 10:ZC17-ZC19. Available from
Date of Submission: Feb 16, 2015
Date of Peer Review: May 22, 2015
Date of Acceptance: Oct 16, 2015
Date of Publishing: May 01, 2016
Financial OR OTHER COMPETING INTERESTS: None.
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