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BACKGROUND: Trauma has been implicated in root dilacerations, though current hypothesis tend to focus more on root sheath displacement. This study aimed at determining the actual prevalence, severity and location of root dilacerations in extracted permanent molar teeth.
METHODS: Over a period of 10 years, 2765 extracted permanent teeth collected for the teaching of oral biology to dental students were examined. The permanent molars were identified based on some clinical indices and each tooth was examined for occurrence of root dilaceration using a calibrated student’s set protractor. The severity of root dilaceration was graded into mild, moderate and severe. The location of root dilaceration was classified as cervical, middle and apical.
RESULTS: There were 1,352 (48.9%) permanent molars with root dilaceration of 274 (9.9%) among the 2765 extracted teeth in this study. Root dilaceration was more in the lower molars (n=162, 12.0%), than the upper molars (n=112, 8.3%) among the permanent molars in this study. There was mild dilaceration of the roots of the lower (n=128, 79.0%) and upper (n=83, 74.1%) permanent molars. The most frequent location was the apical portion of the roots of the lower (n=143, 88.3%) and upper (n=104, 92.9%) permanent molars.
CONCLUSION: This study observed a relatively higher prevalence of root dilaceration among extracted teeth compared to findings from previous clinical studies using periapical radiograph.