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Changes in molar position with missing opposed and/or adjacent tooth: a 12-year study in women

Journal article
Authors Birgitta Lindskog Stokland
Ken Hansen
Cristiano Tomasi
Magnus Hakeberg
Jan Wennström
Published in Journal of Oral Rehabilitation
Volume 39
Issue 2
Pages 136-43
ISSN 0305-182X
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Odontology
Institute of Odontology, Section 2
Pages 136-43
Language en
Keywords overeruption; elongation; tipping; adult; molars; bone level; women
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences


Summary  The aim of this study was to radiographically analyse long-term changes in (i) overeruption of unopposed molars and (ii) tipping of molars with a mesial edentulous space, and whether there is an interaction between the two events. A further aim was to analyse if loss of alveolar bone height might influence overeruption and tipping. The sample consisted of panoramic radiographs taken at an interval of 12 years of 292 subjects from a prospective population study of women. The panoramic radiographs were scanned and analysed. Changes in tipping, overeruption and alveolar bone height of molars and control teeth were measured. The results showed that unopposed molars were more commonly found in the upper jaw and that unopposed molars showed 4·9 times higher risk of overeruption of ≥2 mm (95% CI 1·5-15·3) than opposed molars during the 12-year observation period. The average overeruption for the unopposed molars was 4·5% (s.d. 7·6), which corresponds to approximately 0·9 mm. The degree of overeruption increased with decreased bone support. Molars with a mesial edentulous space were most prevalent in the lower jaw, but neither an edentulous space nor alveolar bone level/bone level change were found to have a significant effect on tipping of the molars. The average mesial tipping was 0·8° (s.d. 5·6). In conclusion, unopposed molars showed a significantly increased risk for overeruption. Molars facing a mesial edentulous space showed a low risk for mesial tipping, but a significant interaction between overeruption and tipping was identified.

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