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Revista Facultad de Odontología Universidad de Antioquia

Print version ISSN 0121-246X


GARCES-ELIAS, María Claudia; LEON-MANCO, Roberto A.  and  BELTRAN, Jorge A.. Depth and proximity of third molars to the inferior alveolar canal in panoramic radiographs of a Latin American population. Rev Fac Odontol Univ Antioq [online]. 2023, vol.35, n.2, pp.52-63.  Epub Oct 19, 2023. ISSN 0121-246X.


extraction of lower third molars involve the possible occurrence of complications such as injury of the content of the Inferior Alveolar Canal.


a cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 6488 lower molar records of digital panoramic radiographs of patients from 6 Latin American countries from 2010-2015. The variables studied were the depth of lower third molar according to the Pell and Gregory classification, and the proximity of a third molar to the Inferior Alveolar Canal that was evaluated according to the proposed classification, based on a modification of the Langlais et al classification.20 Descriptive and bivariate statistical analyses were performed.


in terms of the proximity, the highest frequency was Intact with 27.45%(n=1781). Regarding the depth of the lower third molar, the most frequent were the Position B with 46.90%(n=3043) and Position A with 46.75%(n=3033). The proximity and depth of the lower third molar had statistical difference according to age(p<0.01) and sex (p<0.001). The overall proximity of the lower third molar to the Inferior alveolar canal, according to depth was 37.52%(n=1766) in Position A, in Position B it was 54.51%(n=2566) and Position C was 7.97%(n=375) and had association between variables(p<0.001).


taking into consideration the modified classification of Langlais et al.20, lower third molars are close to the Inferior Alveolar Canal, and according to the Pell and Gregory classification for the depth, the most frequent positions are A and B. In addition, proximity and depth were associated with each other, and with the co-variables country, age, and sex.

Keywords : radiography panoramic; molar third; mandible; adult.

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