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Imaging Sci Dent. 2014 Sep;44(3):185-191. English. Original Article.
Jung YH , Cho BH .
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Korea.

PURPOSE: This study investigated the developmental stages of third molars in relation to chronological age and compared third molar development according to location and gender. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis of panoramic radiographs of 2490 patients aged between 6 and 24 years was conducted, and the developmental stages of the third molars were evaluated using the modified Demirjian's classification. The mean age, standard deviation, minimal and maximal age, and percentile distributions were recorded for each stage of development. A Mann-Whitney U test was performed to test the developmental differences in the third molars between the maxillary and mandibular arches and between genders. A linear regression analysis was used for assessing the correlation between the third molar development and chronological age. RESULTS: The developmental stages of the third molars were more advanced in the maxillary arch than the mandibular arch. Males reached the developmental stages earlier than females. The average age of the initial mineralization of the third molars was 8.57 years, and the average age at apex closure was 21.96 years. The mean age of crown completion was 14.52 and 15.04 years for the maxillary and the mandibular third molars, respectively. CONCLUSION: The developmental stages of the third molars clearly showed a strong correlation with age. The third molars developed earlier in the upper arch than the lower arch; further, they developed earlier in males than in females.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.