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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516


MOTLOBA, DP; MAKWAKWA, LN; KHAN, A  and  MACHETE, ML. Mandibular third molar and angle fractures: a meta-analysis. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2016, vol.71, n.10, pp.483-488. ISSN 0375-1562.

OBJECTIVE: To use a quantitative systematic review of available, credible literature to enable an estimation of the risk of mandibular angle fracture in the presence of mandibular third molars (M3s). METHODS: Data were obtained through a systematic search of PubMed, Embase, and a thorough hand search of eligible references. Papers were included with: (i) acceptable methodological rigor; (ii) complete and accurate data. Details were recorded on the presence of third molars among the reported cases with or without angle fractures. Two calibrated researchers used a specially designed data abstraction form to independently populate information from the selected studies. Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software ver. 3.3.070 was used to calculate relative risk (RR) as the estimate of risk in this study. RESULTS: Nineteen (19) retrospective cohort studies were analysed, comprising of 9888 patients with 3254 mandibular angle fractures. In the presence of mandibular third molars, the risk of mandibular angle fractures increases by 44% when compared with the risk in the absence of third molars. CONCLUSION: The presence of mandibular third molars increases the risk of mandibular angle fracture. Clinicians should be discerning in identifying patients at increased risk, or those likely to benefit from appropriate prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth.

Keywords : mandibular fracture; third molar; meta-analysis.

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