Do mandibular third molars play a role in fractures of the mandibular angle and condyle?

Shinnosuke Nogami, Kensuke Yamauchi, Gian Battista Bottini, Atsumu Kouketsu, Yoshio Otake, Yuko Sai, Yoshihiro Kataoka, Hitoshi Miyashita, Tetsu Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The relationship between impacted mandibular third molars with angle and condylar fractures is subject of many publications, yet their conclusions differ widely, hence the authors wanted to investigate this topic in their patients. Methods: The authors designed a retrospective study including 241 patients who presented with angle and/or mandibular condyle fractures over a 13-year period at the authors’ institution. The study variable was the presence/absence of third molars. The authors used the Pell and Gregory system to classify their position, whereas the angulation was classified using Archer classification. The outcome variables were the presence of angle and condylar fractures. Other study variables included fracture etiology. Results: Assaults were the most frequent cause of angle fractures (62.7%), whereas falls were mostly responsible for condylar fractures (79.6%). Angle fractures were mostly isolated (66.3%), whereas condylar fractures were mostly associated with other fractures (62.6%). The majority of the angle fractures occurred in patients with third molars (63.6%), on the contrary the majority of the condylar fractures occurred in patients without mandibular third molars (78.3%). Angle fractures were mostly associated with fully erupted or superficially impacted third molars (90,9%). Finally in the presence of mesioangulated third molars, condylar fractures did not happen in 83.8% of patients. Conclusions: According to the authors’ findings, fully erupted or superficially impacted mandibular third molars are a risk factor for angle fractures but at the same time a protective factor for the condyle. On the contrary, the absence of mandibular third molars ‘‘strengthens’’ the angle and represents a risk factor for condylar fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e713-e717
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


  • Mandible angle fractures
  • Mandibular condyle fractures
  • Mandibular third molars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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